Posted: Dec 6, 2012 8:24 AM by Beth Saboe
Updated: Dec 6, 2012 2:57 PM
MISSOULA - An Arizona man faces the possibility of life in prison after pleading guilty to distributing methamphetamine in Butte Silver Bow County.
The U.S. Attorney's office said Paul Michael Tizio, 33, of Phoenix, AZ, pled guilty in Missoula federal court December 4.
According to a press release, agents from Homeland Security Investigations and the Butte Silver Bow Law Enforcement Agency have been investigating the distribution of methamphetamine in and around Butte since November 2010. Their investigation includes Tizio and others, including Gary Sheffield, Julie White, Angella Parker, and Michael Young.
On January 5, 2011, officers searched Sheffield's car and the Sheffield/White residence in Butte. From the house they seized baggies of meth, surveillance cameras, drug paraphernalia, and a Fed-Ex receipt with Parker's name on it. The officers found more meth in Sheffield's possession during a search of his person and his car outside a nearby casino.
Also on January 5, 2011, Parker admitted to having just purchased an "8-ball" of meth from Sheffield. She also admitted that she had received packages of methamphetamine from Tizio in Arizona that were intended for Sheffield and had shipped money to Arizona as payment for the drugs.
Authorities say Tizio was obtaining meth in Arizona and shipping or otherwise arranging for the transportation of the drugs to Butte. In order to pay for the meth, money was shipped back to Tizio in Arizona, delivered to him in person, or deposited into his bank account.
Sheffield, White, Parker, and Young pled guilty to federal charges and have been sentenced.
Tizio faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to life. He also faces a possible $10,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release.
Sentencing has been set for March 15, 2013. Tizio is currently released on special conditions.