A Grover Beach woman is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine after pleading guilty in federal court to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine as part of an oil field drug dealing case. [Billings Gazette]
Claudia Norman, 57, allegedly acted as the supplier for methamphetamine dealers in the Bakken oil fields, which span the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota. One of the co-conspirators in the case is a Santa Maria man, Keith Coffin, who has already received a 10-year prison sentence.
Last week, Norman pleaded guilty during a hearing in the U.S. district court in Billings, Montana. Federal prosecutors said Norman supplied meth to Coffin and another co-conspirator, Timothy Swope of Sidney, Montana. Swope has already been sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Coffin and Swope worked with another person in order to pay Norman. The conspiracy spanned about one year, beginning in late 2015.
On one occasion, Swope and Coffin paid a person in Sidney, Montana more than $11,000 to go to California and buy 3.5 pounds of meth from Norman. Swope, Coffin and others were to resell the meth in the Bakken area, according to the prosecution.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan said he will recommend that U.S. District Judge Susan Watters accept Norman’s plea and then sentence her. Cavan granted Norman continued release pending sentencing.