The defendant from a drug bust made in Mineral County was sentenced by the U.S. District Court on Jan. 3, 2018. Chase Ryan Storlie, 33, of Deer Lodge was convicted as part of a conspiracy to distribute up to 20 pounds of methamphetamine through Deer Lodge each month between January 2016 and January 2017. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison with five years supervised release and $100 surcharge for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute the drug.
Members of the conspiracy, including Storlie, allegedly possessed firearms in connection with the drug trafficking crimes. Other members of the conspiracy include Jeff Allen Trask, Hector Ricardo Gonzalez and Christian Jesus Ruiz. The court previously sentenced Trask to 4 1/2 years imprisonment; Gonzalez to about 21 years; and Ruiz to 5 years.
The conspiracy ended on Jan. 24, 2017, when the authorities arrested Gonzalez and Ruiz in Mineral County in possession of 20 pounds of methamphetamine and two handguns. The methamphetamine was destined for Storlie in Deer Lodge.
Storlie had been arrested in August 2017 in Helena after being on the run since failing to appear in court on the federal methamphetamine charges and an arrest warrant was issued in June. He had been staying at a Motel 6 with his 9-month-old baby and the mother, Savannah Raine Moody.
Court documents stated that 38-caliber ammunition, meth pipes, cut lines of meth on a mirror, a bong and a bag with traces of meth were also found in the room.
Storlie then faced new local felony charges of possession of dangerous drugs and endangering the welfare of a child. Moody, 27, was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and accountability to criminal possession of dangerous drugs. State officials took custody of the child.
The charges against Storlie and the other defendants are the result of an investigation by several agencies, including the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigations, the Missouri River Drug Task Force, the Helena Police Department, the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Powell County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Montana Highway Patrol and Drug Enforcement with U.S. Attorney Tom Bartleson, who prosecuted the case.
“This case is an important part of our Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which is focused on reducing violent crime in Montana,” said United States Attorney Kurt Alme. “Storlie and his co-defendants were distributing enormous amounts of drugs, enough to supply south-central Montana with approximately 870,000 individual doses of methamphetamine. As with so many of our drug crimes, Storlie and his co-conspirators possessed firearms in connection with their drug trafficking. Anytime you combine such large amounts of drugs with guns, violence and addiction will result.”
He also praised the collaborative work of the law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in the case.