A 64-year-old Billings man was sentenced to prison Wednesday for his role in a mail-order drug operation involving cryptocurrency.
Gregory Paul Green, 64, was sentenced to three years in prison and three years of supervised release in U.S. District Court in Billings.
Green also agreed to forfeit roughly $10,000 in silver coins that agents seized during a raid of his home.
Green and his daughter Brittany sold a variety of drugs from their West End home in 2017 and 2018 in exchange for Bitcoins. The drugs were shipped through the mail using labeling describing the contents as organic fitness vitamins.
A raid on their home turned up carfentanil, meth and Xanax — “a supermarket of drugs” that would appeal to various buyers, said U.S. District Court Judge Susan Watters.
Defense attorney Vann Arvanetes said the case was atypical and that his client did not get into drug dealing to support a personal drug habit.
“I fell into this trying to protect my daughter,” Green told Watters.
Green said he had tried to help his daughter with her drug addiction for more than a decade, and once sent her to a 30-day drug rehabilitation program.
She had been living in Arizona and had been homeless and struggling before moving in with her father in Billings, according to statements from the defense attorney and judge.
Arvanetes said Green rationalized his involvement in the drug operation the two ran by believing it was safer for his daughter to use drugs in his home than on her own.
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“She was near death and I thought that bringing her in would help her, because she couldn’t make it on the street,” Green said, crying.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” he added.
Green's son died from a heroin use, both the prosecution and defense noted, and Green saw other family members struggle with addiction over the years.
Watters said in light of the family history, it was “mind-boggling” that Green would enable his daughter’s drug use.
Green’s crimes called for a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, but Green qualified for an exemption based on having no prior felonies, Arvanetes said.
In April, Green pleaded guilty to meth possession with intent to distribute, and to one count of drug conspiracy. There was no plea deal.
Brittany Green has admitted meth possession with intent to distribute. Prosecutors will move to dismiss a drug conspiracy charge at sentencing.
Green will serve three years of supervised release after prison, according to the sentence. Both Watters and Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin Rubich believe he will follow the terms of his supervision.
Green had sought a two-year prison sentence. Rubich said an appropriate sentence would be either the 57 to 71 months called for by federal sentencing guidelines, or something less than it but more than two years.