MISSOULA — A Butte man who admitted conspiring to traffic methamphetamine in Montana, wiring the drug proceeds to California and Mexico and illegally possessing firearms was sentenced Thursday to 15 years and eight months in prison followed by five years of supervised release.
Joshua Jay Schroeder, 40, pleaded guilty on Aug. 24, 2020, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth, felon in possession of a firearm and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided. Schroeder was detained.
In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that law enforcement became aware that Schroeder was involved in drug trafficking in and around Montana. In April 2019, an undercover agent purchased meth from Schroeder, and by June 2019, law enforcement found multiple pounds of meth mailed to Schroeder, all of which were meant for distribution in Montana. In a search of Schroeder’s house, agents found 44 grams of meth and a digital scale. In addition, investigators found a total of five firearms in Schroeder’s vehicle. Schroeder possessed the firearms after having been convicted of multiple felonies in Montana. Schroeder admitted to law enforcement that he accepted packages of meth for redistribution and helped in collecting and wiring money used in drug trafficking. Financial records showed that Schroeder wired drug money from Montana to Mexico and California.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
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.