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Missoula man admits to drug, firearm crimes

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Posted at 2:21 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 16:23:47-04

MISSOULA - A Missoula man admitted to drug trafficking and firearm crimes in federal court on Friday.

Prosecutors say law enforcement seized more than seven pounds of meth from his residence and vehicle, fentanyl and a handgun from Carlos Guatimea Aguirre.

Aguirre, 35, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth and fentanyl and to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Aguirre faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release on the drug crime and a mandatory minimum five years to life in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release on the firearm crime.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. A sentencing date was set for Aug. 24 before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. Aguirre was released pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in In court documents that from about September 2020 until October 2021, Aguirre and a co-defendant were trafficking meth and fentanyl.

Law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of Aguirre to execute a search warrant on the car. Aguirre removed a pouch from his chest as he got out of the car and placed it inside the vehicle. A subsequent search determined that the pouch contained a Glock 9mm handgun. Law enforcement also located a quarter pound of meth that was packaged for sale inside the car.

Officers also served a search warrant on Aguirre’s residence and located 6.9 pounds of meth and fentanyl pills. Seven pounds of meth is the equivalent of about 25,368 doses.

According to a news release, the investigation showed that Aguirre made 34 wire transfers from August 2019 to September 2021 to addresses in Billings; Fresno, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, totaling approximately $22,000, and that he traveled multiple times to Fresno and Sacramento, California, and to Spokane, Washington.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer S. Clark is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.