Livingston Man Admits Meth Trafficking and Firearms Crimes

BILLINGS — A Livingston man on Tuesday admitted allegations that he trafficked methamphetamine in the community and carried loaded firearms in furtherance of his drug distribution, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Ryan King Steady, 40, pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging him with possession with intent to distribute meth and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Steady faces a mandatory minimum five years to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine and at least four years of supervised release on the drug crime and a mandatory minimum five years to life in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release on the firearm crime.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. A sentencing date will be set before U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters. The court will determine a sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Steady was detained pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that on Jan. 3, 2021, law enforcement conducted a welfare check on a person identified as Jane Doe 1 at Steady’s residence. Steady was home and invited officers in to speak with Doe 1. While walking through the house, an officer saw a 9mm semi-automatic handgun in Steady’s bedroom. The gun contained a loaded magazine with 18 rounds and was next to a holster and an additional loaded magazine. Officers seized the firearm and ammunition.

Officers learned that a few days earlier, Steady had travelled with another individual to Arizona and obtained a pound of meth, which he then sold to several people. Steady also regularly provided Doe 1 with meth. In addition, officers learned that Steady twice went to Belgrade to buy meth, that he had several people moving the drug for him and got the firearm for protection. In an April 17, 2021, traffic stop of Steady in Gallatin County near Belgrade, officers found a 12-gauge shotgun with two shells in the feed tube near a backpack, which contained a digital scale and unused plastic baggies.  He described specific items in the backpack but denied knowledge of the scale and baggies. Officers searched the backpack and found gram quantities of meth.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Park County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and Montana Probation and Parole.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.

Courtesy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana

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