BILLINGS -- A search warrant was recently issued for a man wanted for the past five years for allegedly trafficking large amounts of illegal drugs to Montana.
The warrant was filed in U.S. District Court in Great Falls against Frederick “Pops” Joe Lona, 48, who is wanted for conspiring to posses methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, distribution of methamphetamine and aiding and abetting.
On Thursday, the FBI released a new wanted poster.
The case opened in May of 2011, when the Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force began investigating into narcotic trafficking from Washington to Great Falls.
Two men were arrested in Great Falls for possessing 12 ounces of methamphetamine.
Detectives began monitoring the suspects’ phones and determined the men were working with three other individuals, including Lona.
Detectives made contact with an informant, who told them Lona, known as “Pops,” was selling drugs in Montana.
Lona is reportedly a member of the Steteta’s, also known as the Rollin' Seventies, a Sureno gang based in California.
According to court documents, Lona is also affiliated with a Mexican drug trafficking organization that controls drug smuggling from Tijuana and Baja, CA to Los Angeles.
Through the investigation, detectives learned Lona was connected to the sale of multiple pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine.
Some of these drugs were shipped to addresses in Great Falls and St. Regis.
Four of Lona’s accomplices were eventually arrested, charged and convicted of drug trafficking crimes.
Lona was never apprehended and remains at large, according to the FBI.
Lona is described as a White male with black hair and brown eyes, standing 6’ tall and weighing 250 lbs.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact authorities.