Father-Son Duo Sentenced for Cocaine Trafficking

Whitefish men will serve federal prison term for selling cocaine in Flathead Valley

By Beacon Staff

A Whitefish father and son were sentenced July 31 to a combined 15 years in federal prison for selling vast amounts of cocaine in Flathead County for the past several years.

Scott Joseph Hineman, 60, and Benjamin Scott Hineman, 29, were sentenced in Missoula’s U.S. District Court. The elder Hineman initially faced seven felony charges related to the drug trafficking while his son faced three felony charges. Both men were offered plea deals, each pleading guilty to a felony count of a criminal conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Scott Hineman will serve a total of 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Benjamin Hineman was sentenced to five years in prison, also followed by five years of supervised release. The elder Hineman was also required to forfeit $75,000 and his 1960 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Scott Hineman was investigated by the Northwest Drug Task Force beginning in June 2012, when a confidential informant told the agencies he was selling cocaine in the Flathead Valley.

The task force set up controlled buys for varying amounts of cocaine in the months that followed, and in April 2013 the team obtained a search warrant and raided his residence.

Inside, they recovered 828 grams – nearly 2 pounds – of cocaine along with six guns.

“Hineman later spoke with members of law enforcement and admitted to traveling to Arizona to purchase kilogram quantities of cocaine and re-distributing the cocaine in the Flathead area,” prosecutors stated in court records.

A month before the elder Hineman’s arrest, law enforcement became aware of his son participating in similar drug activities.

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