BILLINGS, Mont. | A dozen people have been indicted on federal charges in Montana for their involvement in what authorities describe as a drug-trafficking ring that operated in the Bakken oil patch along the North Dakota border.
Authorities said in federal indictments unsealed Wednesday that Washington state resident Robert Ferrell Amstrong, also known as "Dr. Bob," obtained pure methamphetamine in his home state to distribute through a network of couriers across Montana.
Authorities say the ring operated in Sidney, Fairview, Billings, Big Timber, Columbus, Livingston and Bozeman. Several who were indicted face potential prison terms of 10 years to life if convicted.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to drug and weapons charges in court Wednesday.
U.S. Attorney for Montana Michael Cotter says the drug ring sought to exploit the Bakken region's booming economy.