WA Pimp Gets Five Years, Deadly Opioids Hit Billings

The Gazette reports that a federal judge in Billings on Thursday sentenced a Washington state man to five years in prison for bringing women to Montana to work as his prostitutes. U.S. District Judge Susan Watters called the operation run by defendant, 24-year-old Andrew Rivera of Tacoma, sophisticated. Rivera made thousands of dollars off of women he coerced into sex trafficking in various states.

The opioid abuse epidemic, now officially a public health crisis, has not spared Montana, with powerful, deadly drugs now hitting the region. Fentanyl is a synthetic opiod between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Carfentanil is a fentanyl analogue used to tranquilize large animals like elephants. Carfentanil showed up recently in lab results following an overdose death, according to Billings Police Sgt. Brandon Wooley.