4 men sentenced in Bakken oil patch drug cases
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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) Drug convictions in cases tied to the Bakken oil patch continue to pile up with four more men recently sentenced to federal prison terms for trafficking drugs in eastern Montana.
The latest sentencings announced Friday included 2 1/2 years in prison for Keith Edward Lester of Sidney, and more than three years in prison for Sean Michael Vaira of Billings. District Judge Susan Watters to charges involving methamphetamine distribution.
More than 20,000 people have poured into eastern Montana and western North Dakota since oil production in the region began its meteoric rise in 2008. Drug arrests in the Bakken region more than tripled over the past several years, according to the Montana Board of Crime Control.
Federal, state and local tiffany and co officials launched a crackdown last year, but officials say they struggled to keep pace with the rise in drug activity. Attorney Office said that beginning in December 2012, the 30 year old Vaira was involved in the sale of more than 2 pounds of meth in Sidney and Big Timber. Attorney Office.
At least 10 other defendants have pleaded guilty in related cases. That includes Armstrong, who is due to be sentenced by Watters in May.
On March 5, 48 year old Anthony Rungo of Roseburg, Ore. District Judge Donald Molloy. He pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to possess meth and heroin with the intent to distribute.