A 31-year-old Kalispell man accused of operating as part of a drug trafficking ring in the Flathead Valley was sentenced to three years in federal prison during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Missoula on Thursday.
Scott George Michael Daniels pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in January. He could have been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Along with his guilty plea, Daniels also agreed to surrender eight guns, ammunition, digital scales and body armor that were recovered at his residence when he was arrested. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to dismiss two other charges.
According to court filings, Daniels was part of a large-scale operation that has been at least partially dismantled by federal prosecutors in the last year, with a handful of confidential informants feeding information to the FBI, leading to several arrests. Daniels allegedly bought large quantities of meth from Leon Paul Kavis, who pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in March. Prosecutors in that case connected Kavis to the Aryan Brotherhood, a notorious white supremacist prison gang that was taken down by federal agents around the time Kavis and another associate were arrested in Missoula.
Daniels is also linked to T.J. Kuchinski, an alleged drug dealer in Flathead County who was shot and killed by Kavis last year. Kavis was not charged in Kuchinski’s death after claiming self-defense.
In an offer of proof submitted along with Daniels’ plea deal earlier this year, prosecutors wrote that two confidential informants were set to testify that they saw Daniels in possession of more than 12 pounds of meth, at least some of which he kept in a detached garage at his Kalispell home. Another informant was planning to testify that Daniels and others were also transporting stolen vehicles from Kalispell to Spokane in exchange for a supply of drugs. In addition, law enforcement found small quantities of meth and heroin at Daniels’ residence last year, along with other items classified as drug paraphernalia like an “energy drink container with a false compartment.”
In the original charging documents filed against Daniels, one informant described him as “the biggest drug dealer in the Flathead Valley.”
Daniels claimed that he relapsed and resumed using drugs in the beginning of 2020, then started trafficking to support his habit. He admitted to distributing between 49 and 60 ounces of meth between the spring and fall of 2020.
In addition to his prison term, Daniels will be placed on three years of court supervision upon his release.
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