North Dakota man sentenced for trafficking fentanyl in Great Falls

A North Dakota man who admitted to trafficking fentanyl in Great Falls after law enforcement found hundreds of fentanyl pills and a loaded firearm in a vehicle he was driving, was sentenced May 17 to five years and six months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Kelly Sterling Wait, 45, of Williston, N.D., pleaded guilty in January to possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

North Dakota man admits fentanyl trafficking in Great Falls

According to court documents, Russell Country Drug Task Force agents surveilling a motel room in October 2022 in Great Falls observed Wait and an associate leave the room, get into a vehicle and drive a short distance. Law enforcement officers stopped the vehicle, which Wait was driving.

Wait had a loaded 9mm pistol in his immediate possession, 186 fentanyl pills and more than $3,000 in cash. Officers found additional fentanyl pills in the trunk and passenger seat area, according to court documents.

Narcan available locally to fight overdoses; public education events planned

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan R. Plaut prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Russell Country Drug Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Montana Highway Patrol and Great Falls Police Department.