Two Missoula women were sentenced in federal court on Thursday for being part of a large meth trafficking ring.
Laura Jeanne Haacke, 46, was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Jennifer Renee Hawkes, 40, was sentenced to 63 months, also in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.
Both pleaded guilty in May to possession with intent to distribute meth.
U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided.
Haacke and Hawkes, along with co-defendants Jason Dean Hager, of Lolo, and Terry David Starrett, of Missoula, conspired to distribute meth in Missoula from January 2018 through January 2021, federal court documents said.
Investigators learned through confidential informants that Haacke was storing meth for Starrett under a trap door at her house. Court documents say that in July 2020, Haacke told an acquaintance Starrett had left 20 to 30 pounds of methamphetamine with Haacke before he left the state to sell meth in Virginia. Informants told officials they thought Starrett left the drugs with Haacke so she could sell them to his clients in Missoula.
When interviewed by officials, Haacke admitted to using the drug and to storing several pounds of meth in her house.
In July 2019, Hawkes supplied a person with about two ounces of meth. After that sale, officials executed a search warrant at Hawkes’ residence and recovered three more pounds of meth. Confidential informants estimated to officers that Hawkes sold about 10 pounds of meth a month, and kept one pound of the drug in a safe in her trailer at all times, court documents say.
Starrett and Hager each pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth and are pending sentencing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI’s Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force, Missoula Police Department, and Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.