GREAT FALLS — A Havre man accused of supplying large quantities of methamphetamine to individuals on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation pleaded guilty to a trafficking crime today, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said.
Clayton Cree Morsette, 23, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth. Morsette faces a mandatory minimum 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris set sentencing for Aug. 5 and ordered Morsette detained.
In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that in 2019, law enforcement officers learned from individuals that co-defendant Kristina Russette, of Washington, and her boyfriend, Morsette, worked together to distribute meth from the Spokane area to the Rocky Boy’s Reservation. In addition, in May 2020, Russette was driving a vehicle stopped in Washington for traffic violations. Morsette was a passenger. During a search of the vehicle, officers found multiple bags containing approximately 1.6 pounds of meth. Morsette told an officer that he and Russette had picked up those drugs in Spokane and that some of it was destined for Montana.
Multiple other individuals told law enforcement that Morsette was a longtime supplier of large quantities of meth to persons on and around the Rocky Boy’s Reservation and described him as working with Russette. Morsette admitted to working with Russette to distribute meth, making multiple trips to bring ounces of meth to the reservation and to having brought a pound of meth in a trip in March or February of 2020. Russette pleaded guilty in the case and is awaiting sentencing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Plaut is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Chippewa Cree Law Enforcement Services, Tri-Agency Drug Task Force, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Kalispel Tribe Public Safety Department in Washington and the Airway Heights Police Department in Washington.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.