Montana Meth Trafficker Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

Leon Paul Kavis, who has connections to a notorious white supremacist prison gang, distributed multi-pound methamphetamine shipments in the Flathead Valley and was involved in fatal shooting of local man

By Maggie Dresser
A Flathead County Sheriff's Office vehicle. Beacon file photo

A 37-year-old Missoula man with connections to a notorious white supremacist prison gang was sentenced to 20 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for trafficking and distributing multi-pound shipments of methamphetamine in the Flathead Valley, according to acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson.

Leon Paul Kavis pleaded guilty on March 9 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth and to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

From November 2019 to November 2020, Kavis was identified to law enforcement as a meth source in the Flathead Valley, the federal government alleged in court documents. California authorities also said Kavis worked with individuals to bring meth to Montana. Kavis was detained in November.

Investigators recovered about five pounds of meth that were sent to Kavis’ shop in East Missoula and recovered another two pounds of meth during a search. The government alleged that law enforcement learned that several packages totaling 28 pounds of meth from known drug associates were delivered to Kavis’ shop.

The government also alleged that Kavis told informants that he was bringing in 30 pounds of meth per week, which is equivalent to about 108,720 doses, and that Kavis always carried a firearm for protection and often had large sums of cash ranging from $30,000 to $50,000.

U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen ordered the forfeiture of $13,920, nine guns, ammunition and magazines.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer S. Clark prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI’s Montana Regional Violent Crimes Task Force, the Missoula Police Department and the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.

Kavis was arrested in Missoula on Nov. 18 alongside Dylan Roy Mace, 28, with whom he allegedly ran the shop in Missoula that served as a hub for their operation. Prosecutors said large amounts of meth were sent from associates of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang targeted by the FBI in a multi-state takedown last year.

A Kalispell man, Scott George Michael Daniels, and Kalispell woman, Kalynn Moskaloff, were also charged in connection with the Flathead Valley drug ring.

Last fall, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Kavis after he fatally shot T.J. Kuchinski at a home on Trumble Creek Road between Columbia Falls in Kalispell, but he was released from custody four days later without charges. Flathead County Attorney Travis Ahner said that initial law enforcement reports indicated the shooting was in self-defense.