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54 Months in Prison for a Meth Package with a Fake Name

A Montana judge sentenced Michael Armando Sanchez of Bakersfield, California, to 54 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Sanchez had ordered a package of methamphetamine under a fake name. Postal Inspectors arrested him during a controlled delivery.

United States Attorney Kurt Alme of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana announced in January that Chief U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen had sentenced Sanchez to 54 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. Sanchez, in November 2019, had pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

An indictment from June 2019 charged Sanchez with two counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin. The charges stemmed from a failed package delivery in March 2019 after a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier attempted to deliver a package from Bakersfield, CA, to an apartment unit in Billings. The package had the name “David Castillo” listed as the recipient.

The mail carrier left the apartment after nobody answered the door to receive the package. Sanchez made contact with the mail carrier as the mail carrier was leaving the premises. Sanchez told the mail carrier that his name was “David Castillo.” The mail carrier asked Sanchez for identification. After Sanchez failed to produce any identification, the mail carrier told him that he could pick the package up at the Post Office once he had a valid form of identification.

Sanchez and his partner “became irate and began yelling and calling the carrier names.” The carrier reported this incident to a supervisor at the Post Office. Sanchez later spoke with a manager at the Post Office about the package. He “became verbally aggressive” after the manager explained the ID policy. Sanchez called the Post Office again after leaving to inquire about the package.

After the impression Sanchez had left on Post Office employees, law enforcement had a K9 unit check the package. The K9 alerted to the presence of narcotics. Law enforcement then executed a search warrant on the package and discovered eight ounces of methamphetamine. Postal Inspectors then took control of the package, drugs, and case.

A Postal Inspector called Sanchez about the package and said the Post Office would release the package to Sanchez in person. Sanchez arrived at the Post Office and almost immediately left in handcuffs. After being arrested, Sanchez admitted the package contained methamphetamine and that he had used a fake name to receive the package.

The 54 month sentence is significantly shorter than the mandatory minimum of ten years in prison he had originally faced.

In this case, the hostility caused more of an issue than the fake name on its own.