NewsCrime & Courts


Washington man sentenced for role in massive Crow meth-trafficking ring

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jun 27, 2024

(news release from U.S. Attorney's office)

BILLINGS — A Washington man who came to the Crow Indian Reservation to distribute methamphetamine in a large-scale conspiracy was sentenced today to seven years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for his conviction of a drug trafficking crime, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Daniel Jiminez-Chavez, aka Raton, 40, of Okanogan, Washington, and a Mexican citizen, pleaded guilty in January to possession with intent to distribute meth.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.

The government alleged in court documents that federal law enforcement, in a collaborative effort with local and tribal law enforcement, conducted a large-scale, narcotics trafficking investigation centered on multiple properties on the Crow Indian Reservation. The properties, including one referred to as Spear Siding, were a source of supply of meth for both the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations from about January 2022 through March 2023. Jiminez-Chavez is one of approximately two dozen individuals associated with the investigation.

The government alleged Jiminez-Chavez was among the top tier of the conspiracy and came to Lodge Grass, on the Crow Indian Reservation, from Washington in about February 2023 to distribute meth and act as a caretaker. He had no ties to Montana other than a directive to look after one of the houses involved in conspiracy and sell drugs for a co-conspirator. Jiminez-Chavez began staying at a house known as the Bloodman residence, which was near Spear Siding. While at the residence, Jiminez-Chavez distributed meth to approximately six others in the case with assistance from another co-conspirator, who translated for him. Jiminez-Chavez was in Montana about two months before his arrest. Jiminez-Chavez was responsible for distributing at least 4.5 kilograms, which is almost 10 pounds, of meth in a two-month period. Ten pounds of meth is the equivalent of approximately 36,240 doses.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI conducted the investigation.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.