Guilty pleas expected in felony drug case

2010-07-31T00:15:00Z Guilty pleas expected in felony drug caseBy George Plaven of The Montana Standard Montana Standard

ANACONDA - An Anaconda man is expected to change pleas next week in Anaconda district court and admit to three felonies stemming from illegal drug sales last year.

Jeffrey James Nail, 21, pleaded not guilty Feb. 17 to each of five charges after he allegedly sold cocaine, marijuana and prescription medication in Anaconda-Deer Lodge and Silver Bow counties.

Anaconda police and the Southwest Montana Drug Task Force investigated Nail over the course of several months, according to court documents, beginning with information from a confidential source in June 2009.

Nail would plead guilty to felonies criminal possession of dangerous drugs, possession with the intent to distribute and criminal use of property subject to forfeiture, according to an agreement with the state.

In exchange, Nail would receive

concurrent four-year deferred sentences and pay $2,000 in fines. He would also forfeit $1,500 confiscated during a police search of his home.

The state would further dismiss two misdemeanor charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia.

On Dec. 29, officers completed a search warrant for 215 Chestnut St., where Nail lived with his father at the time. The search turned up cocaine, marijuana, pills and paraphernalia, according to court documents.

Officers allegedly found the cash in a Ziploc bag with more cocaine and methadone pills.

Nail's father, Jeffrey Lynn Nail, 56, was home at the time of the search and was arrested. He pleaded not guilty on Jan. 27 to the same five charges. On April 23, Jeffrey Lynn Nail filed an agreement in district court to dismiss the three felonies and receive a six-month deferred sentence.

He also agreed to donate $100 to the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Drug Forfeiture Fund.

Reporter George Plaven may be reached via e-mail at

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