A Ronan man charged with trafficking fentanyl and unlawful possession of a firearm during a traffic stop pleaded guilty to charges Monday, dating from a traffic stop nearly a year ago. According to U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich, CSKT tribal law enforcement found fentanyl and a firearm in the vehicle on Dec. 1, 2021.
Douglas Leo Wynne, 30, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and prohibited possession of a firearm and ammunition by a drug addict. Wynne faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and three years of probation.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided, and sentencing is set for February 22, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. The court will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Wynne was released pending further proceedings.
In court documents, the government alleged that in December 2021, the Northwest Drug Task Force obtained fentanyl from Wynne in Lake County. On December 1, 2021, Flathead Tribal Police conducted a traffic stop of Wynne, who was arrested on warrant. The officer found a large sum of cash in Wynne’s back pocket and a small amount of a crystalline substance in his front pocket.
The owner of the vehicle Wynne was driving consented to a search and officers found 1,468 fentanyl tablets and a .45 caliber handgun. Wynne admitted to distributing fentanyl and said the cocaine in the vehicle was for personal use.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer S. Clark is prosecuting the case, which has been investigated by the Northwest Drug Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations and Police Flathead tribal.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make neighborhoods safer for all. . On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a Violent Crime Reduction Strategy strengthening the NSP based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community organizations that help prevent violence first, set targeted and strategic enforcement priorities and measure results.