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Two Washington men sentenced to prison for drug trafficking in Missoula area

Russell Smith Courthouse
Posted at 9:18 AM, Feb 23, 2023

MISSOULA - Two Washington state men who admitted to drug trafficking charges were sentenced to prison on Wednesday in a Missoula courtroom.

Montana law enforcement found heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl pills, and a firearm in their vehicle during a traffic stop.

U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich says Alex Stephen Schmidt, 50, of Colville, Washington, was sentenced to 6½ years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Schmidt pleaded guilty in September 2022 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Co-defendant Richmond James McKee, 52, of Spokane, was sentenced to five years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. McKee pleaded guilty in October 2022 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

The government alleged in court documents that in October 2021, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle McKee was driving on Interstate 90 in Montana. The vehicle belonged to Schmidt.

During a subsequent search of the vehicle, law enforcement found heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl pills, a firearm, and drug paraphernalia.

The investigation determined that a confidential informant assisted Schmidt with selling drugs and that Schmidt was the person who normally obtained the drugs.

U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided over the sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI’s Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force, the Montana Highway Patrol, and the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.