BILLINGS – A Billings man admitted conspiracy charges Tuesday after agents investigating methamphetamine trafficking found 32 pounds of meth and $11,380 in cash at his residence.
Byrne Martin Mestas, 62, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth, according a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Montana. Mestas faces a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.
The prosecution said in court records that an investigation into meth trafficking led to Mestas and a co-defendant, Jerry Ray Schuster, of Billings. Schuster pleaded guilty to trafficking crimes in January and is awaiting sentencing.
Law enforcement served a search warrant at Schuster’s and Mestas’ trailer on May 3, 2019. Agents found in the residence a pound of meth, three rifles, drug paraphernalia and receipts corroborating trips to California. A pound of meth is the equivalent of about 3,624 doses. Thirty-two pounds of meth is about 115,968 doses.
Agents served a search warrant three days later on four vehicles at the residence. A search of a Suzuki Swift registered to Schuster revealed 30 pounds of meth located in three backpacks, along with $11,380 in cash and receipts documenting travel to California.
In the other three vehicles, agents found about a pound of meth, 100 pills, cash and other items.