MISSOULA – A Bozeman man who admitted to drug trafficking after an officer found methamphetamine and heroin in his vehicle during a traffic stop was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Rick Ray Garcia, 37, pleaded guilty on Feb. 12 to possession with intent to distribute meth.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided. Garcia was detained.
The government alleged in court records that on Dec. 18, 2019, a Bozeman law enforcement officer conducted a traffic stop with Garcia in Gallatin County and arrested Garcia on an outstanding warrant. During a subsequent search of Garcia and his vehicle, law enforcement found about 9 grams of heroin, about 29 grams of meth and a loaded 9mm handgun. Garcia was known to law enforcement for distributing drugs.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer S. Clark prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Bozeman Police Department.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.