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Twin Bridges man sentenced to 10 years for drug trafficking offense

Posted at 3:37 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 17:37:35-04

MISSOULA – A Twin Bridges man who pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

Martin James Walsh, a 53-year-old resident of Twin Bridges, Montana, was sentenced to 120 months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. Chief United States District Judge Dana Christensen handed down the sentence.

Beginning in October 2016, the Southwest Montana Drug Task Force purchased an “8-ball” or 3.5 grams of methamphetamine from Walsh. The next month the Task Force again made a purchase of a quarter-ounce of methamphetamine from Walsh.

In June 2017, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office purchased a small amount of heroin from Walsh. Based upon the purchases, sheriff’s deputies obtained a search warrant for Walsh’s residence in Twin Bridges.

When the deputies searched Walsh’s home they found a digital scale, several glass smoking pipes, a large box containing four bags of a white crystalline substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. Walsh was home at the time of the search. He was detained and read his Miranda rights.

Walsh stated that he had been selling ounces of meth in Madison County as well as Bozeman and Butte. The amount of methamphetamine found in Walsh’s residence was approximately 260 grams or 2080 dosing units.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan R. Whittaker and investigated by the FBI, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Southwest Montana Drug Task Force, and the Missouri River Drug Task Force.