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Associated Press , Published October 22 2013

New drug charges for man linked to Bakken ring

BILLINGS, Mont. — A Mexican man arrested last month on an immigration violation faces new drug charges as part of what authorities say was a wide-ranging conspiracy to sell methamphetamine in the Bakken oil patch.

Marco Antonio Morales-Roa was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Billings. He could face decades in prison if convicted on charges he distributed 50 grams of more of methamphetamine in Richland County and elsewhere in Montana.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says the case is linked to grand jury indictments handed down this month against members of a drug trafficking ring that brought in large quantities of meth from Washington state.

Separately, two California men were sentenced to lengthy prison terms Monday after authorities say they distributed heroin, cocaine and more than 80 pounds of meth across Montana.

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