People Accused of Funneling Meth to the Flathead Plead Guilty

By Beacon Staff

Five people who funneled methamphetamine from Spokane, Wash., to northwestern Montana have pleaded guilty to federal narcotics charges.

Prosecutors say the drug ring moved several pounds of drugs weekly into Flathead and Lincoln counties.

The commander of the Northwest Montana Drug Task Force, Russ Papke, says the bust “made a significant impact on methamphetamine availability” in the Flathead Valley.

A federal judge in Missoula set September sentencing dates for three Spokane-area residents: 34-year-old Jamie Lake, 35-year-old Donovan Dehnel and 39-year-old Daniel Bennett.

Two Kalispell residents — 38-year-old Scott Shirley and 29-year-old Justin Hessler — will also be sentenced in September.

All pleaded guilty on May 15 to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

A sixth man, 25-year-old Christopher Fraleigh of Kalispell, pleaded guilty in April to the same charge.

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