MISSOULA — A Missoula man today admitted to drug trafficking and firearm crimes after law enforcement seized more than seven pounds of meth from his residence and vehicle, fentanyl and a handgun, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Carlos Guatimea Aguirre, 35, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth and fentanyl and to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Aguirre faces a mandatory minimum 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release on the drug crime and a mandatory minimum five years to life in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release on the firearm crime.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. A sentencing date was set for Aug. 24 before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Aguirre was released pending further proceedings.
In court documents, the government alleged that from about September 2020 until October 2021, Aguirre and a co-defendant, were trafficking meth and fentanyl. Law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of Aguirre to execute a search warrant on the car. Aguirre removed a pouch from his chest as he got out of the car and placed it inside the vehicle. A subsequent search determined that the pouch contained a Glock 9mm handgun. Law enforcement also located a quarter pound of meth that was packaged for sale inside the car. Officers also served a search warrant on Aguirre’s residence and located 6.9 pounds of meth and fentanyl pills. Seven pounds of meth is the equivalent of about 25,368 doses. The investigation showed that Aguirre made 34 wire transfers from August 2019 to September 2021 to addresses in Billings; Fresno, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, totaling approximately $22,000, and that he traveled multiple times to Fresno and Sacramento, California, and to Spokane, Washington.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer S. Clark is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
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.