NewsCrime and Courts

Actions

32 pounds of meth found in Billings residence leads to federal drug conspiracy convictions

Missoula Shooting May 12
32 pounds of meth found in Billings residence leads to federal drug conspiracy convictions
Posted at 8:42 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 22:42:25-05

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.