|A Florida man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison on a federal drug trafficking charge drug in a case that involved one of the largest seizures of methamphetamine in Montana history.
U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen sentenced Nicholas James Imhoff of Caple Coral, Florida during a Tuesday hearing in federal court in Missoula.
Police found 78 pounds (35 kilograms) of meth in a rented minivan driven by the 30-year-old defendant after he was stopped for speeding on an interstate near Columbus, Montana in February 2020.
Imhoff pleaded guilty in September to possession with intent to distribute meth, under a plea deal with prosecutors that resulted in the dismissal of a drug conspiracy charge .
Authorities said the meth seized in the case had an estimated street value of up to $1.2 million and was the equivalent of 280,000 doses of the drug.
The seizure was “by far the largest amount of meth we’ve seen in a single traffic stop,” John Barnes, a spokesperson for the Montana Department of Justice, said at the time.
In December, Canadian law enforcement seized more than 500 pounds of meth (228 kilograms) from a truck that was hauling produce across the border from Montana into Alberta. It was the largest meth seizure on record at a land border crossing in Canada, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.