Donald William Forrest Sentenced in U.S. District Court
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 09, 2013|
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on December 6, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, Donald William Forrest, a 51-year-old resident of Butte, was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 16 months
- Special assessment: $100
- Supervised release: five years
Forrest was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan R. Whittaker, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On August 23, 2011, a confidential informant (CI) met with Forrest at a gas station in Rocker to purchase methamphetamine. The CI had prearranged to meet Forrest at this location. The CI approached Forrest’s 1992 two-tone gray and white Ford extended cab pickup truck and got inside. Forrest and the CI circled the parking lot for approximately two minutes. The CI paid Forrest $280 in exchange for two grams of methamphetamine. Forrest had the methamphetamine sitting on the center console of his truck, as he had done in previous deals. Forrest gave the CI a Premium Blend red cigarette pack that contained approximately two grams of individually wrapped methamphetamine. The CI turned the cigarette pack and the methamphetamine over to law enforcement agents who were observing the transaction.
On August 29, 2011, the CI again met with Forrest in Rocker to purchase methamphetamine. The CI had prearranged to meet Forrest at this location. The CI approached Forrest’s truck and got inside. The CI paid Forrest $280 in pre-recorded U.S. currency in exchange for two grams of methamphetamine. Forrest counted the money and had the methamphetamine sitting on the center console of his truck. Forrest gave the CI a Camel cigarette pack that contained the two grams of individually wrapped methamphetamine. The CI turned the cigarette pack and the methamphetamine over to law enforcement agents. Multiple law enforcement agents witnessed the transaction. The CI also wore an electronic recording device that recorded the transaction between the CI and Forrest.
On September 7, 2011, the CI made arrangements with Forrest to meet with an undercover agent (UA) and sell him 6.5 grams of methamphetamine for $900. Forrest agreed to the sale and instructed the CI to have the UA meet him behind a store in Butte. The UA met with Forrest in the store’s parking lot. Forrest told the agent that he was only able to get two grams of methamphetamine instead of the expected 6.5 grams. The agent purchased the two grams of methamphetamine from Forrest for $300. Forrest gave the agent an Old Gold cigarette pack that was sitting on the center console between them that contained two individually wrapped baggies inside. The transaction was electronically recorded and observed by multiple law enforcement agents.
On September 22, 2011, the agent again met with Forrest behind the store in Butte. The agent purchased what he thought to be 4.5 grams of methamphetamine from Forrest for $600. After the agent left the transaction, the methamphetamine was weighed at only 3.3 grams. The transaction was electronically recorded and observed by multiple law enforcement agents. The agent later called Forrest to complain about the missing amount of methamphetamine, wherein Forrest apologized and promised to make it right.
On December 27, 2011, Forrest indicated to the agent that he could conduct a drug transaction for approximately one ounce of methamphetamine for $2,400. The agent instead offered to buy half an ounce of methamphetamine for $1,300. The following day, the agent met with Forrest at a saloon in Montana City. Forrest got into the agent’s vehicle to conduct the transaction. Forrest pulled a plastic baggie from his left front shirt pocket and provided half an ounce of methamphetamine to the agent for the agreed upon price. The transaction was electronically recorded and observed by multiple law enforcement agents.
On January 21, 2013, Forrest again met the agent at the saloon where he sold the agent approximately two ounces of methamphetamine for $4,800. The transaction was electronically recorded and observed by multiple law enforcement agents.
Law enforcement agents sent all the methamphetamine to the DEA laboratory for testing. A DEA chemist would have testified that the total amount of actual (pure) methamphetamine sold by Forrest to the CI and the agent was more than 68 grams.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Forrest will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Forrest does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Southwest Montana Drug Task Force.