NewsCrime and Courts


California man sentenced to 7 years in eastern Montana meth-mailing scheme

Posted at 3:00 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 18:21:45-05

BILLINGS- A California man was sentenced Friday to seven years in federal prison for mailing methamphetamine to Sidney in August 2017 U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said Monday.

Raymond M. Fitch, 59 of Imperial Beach, Calif., had pleaded guilty earlier to possession with intent to distribute meth. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan Watters.

In August 2017, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation received a tip that two people from Sidney were receiving regular shipments of meth by mail at their home from California.

The U.S. Postal Service flagged a package addressed to one of those people from Chula Vista, Calif., on Aug. 29, 2017, with a return address of a strip mall. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant and found two clear plastic bags of meth.

One of those bags contained 54 grams of pure meth (about 432 individual doses) with a note reading, “RF you owe 4000 total.”

One of the receivers of the shipments told agents that RF was Fitch, and he received an ounce of meth from a California supplier in every package, according to Alme.

The second receiver corroborated the story, according to Alme. Law enforcement also interviewed one of Fitch’s customers.

Fitch will also serve five years of supervised release after his sentence.

The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, which is a U.S. Department of Justice program aimed at reducing violent crime.