GREAT FALLS — William Anthony Rogers of Laurel was sentenced in federal court on Thursday to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release for conviction on drug-trafficking crimes after law enforcement officers found methamphetamine in a motel room.
Rogers, 30 years old, pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth and to possession with intent to distribute meth.
Prosecutors said that Billings police officers were dispatched to the Boothill Inn in Billings on July 16, 2018, because two men were passed out in a motel room after check out.
One of the men woke up as officers entered the room and grabbed a meth pipe on a night stand. The second man, identified as Rogers, then woke up.
Although officers saw pills and paraphernalia in plain view, they released both men pending arrest warrants because the jail was too full to accept new inmates at that time.
After the men left, the officers looked around the room, found a silver briefcase, opened it, and saw what appeared to be a large amount of meth.
At that point, they stopped and called the Billings Drug Task Force.
During the search, officers found about six ounces of meth in the briefcase and a 9mm handgun in a separate locked case.
Surveillance video from the motel showed Rogers carrying the briefcase that contained the meth.
After sentencing, Rogers was remanded to custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.