Polson Man Sentenced to Prison for Drug Trafficking

Thomas Joseph Duran pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute in federal court and was sentenced to five years in prison

By Maggie Dresser

A 42-year-old Polson man who admitted to trafficking methamphetamine and fentanyl was sentenced today to five years and six months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Thomas Joseph Duran pleaded guilty in April to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy.

According to court documents, Montana Highway Patrol troopers in June 2022 made a traffic stop in Lake County and later searched a vehicle in which Duran was a passenger where they recovered meth, fentanyl, $8,135 and firearms.

Duran admitted that he distributed the drugs in exchange for money.

Co-defendant Andrew Joseph Shields of Kalispell was driving the vehicle and was sentenced recently to 11 years and three months in prison after he was convicted, records state.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliot prosecuted the case.