GREAT FALLS — Lillian Marie Lapier of Great Falls, suspected of traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada, to obtain methamphetamine for distribution, admitted in federal court in Great Falls to a trafficking charge on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said in a news release that Lapier, 45 years old, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth.
Prosecutors allege that in May 2021, agents with the Russell Country Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on a Great Falls residence, recovered meth, and learned that the source of supply was Lapier, who was traveling to Great Falls with meth.
The investigation led to a Helena residence of co-defendant Rhonda Lapier, also known as Rhonda Trench, where Rhonda Lapier and Lillian Lapier were suspected of trafficking meth together. After seeing vehicles arrive and depart the residence, law enforcement stopped a suspect vehicle driven by Lillian Lapier and found cash and about 3.6 pounds of actual meth in the trunk.
Lillian Lapier told law enforcement that she and Rhonda Lapier had left Las Vegas together after re-supplying with meth from a California-based supplier.
Lillian Lapier also told officers she had been getting about two pounds of meth every week to a week and a half for the past three to four months. Officers found about three pounds of meth at the Helena evidence.
Rhonda Lapier was sentenced to more than five years in prison for conviction in the case. A third co-defendant, Ashley Nicole Rico, is pending sentencing for her conviction in the case.
Lapier faces a mandatory minimum five years to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine and at least four years of supervised release.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris presided and scheduled sentencing for May 26. Lapier remains jailed pending further proceedings.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Plaut is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Russell Country Drug Task Force, the Missouri River Drug Task Force, FBI, Great Falls Police Department Cascade County Sheriff’s Office and Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office.