Statement of United States Attorney Wendy J. Olson Regarding Sentencing of Edgar Steele
The long prison sentence imposed by the Court today on Edgar Steele sends a necessary and strong message that trying to hire a person to commit murder, that use of a destructive device to achieve that end, is depraved and violent conduct that will be dealt with swiftly and severely by the criminal justice system. Through his conduct, including his attempts to influence a witness, Mr. Steele earned every month in prison to which the district court sentenced him.
In addition to imposing this appropriately lengthy prison term on Mr. Steele, the district court in an order issued yesterday emphatically rejected Mr. Steele’s suggestions that the federal prosecutors who tried this case and the law enforcement officers who investigated it engaged in any kind of misconduct. Mr. Steele received every procedural protection given to federal criminal defendants in the District of Idaho. He was represented at trial by the counsel of his choice; he was convicted by a jury of twelve individuals who heard all properly admissible evidence; the district court heard and addressed every motion he filed.
Mr. Steele was targeted for investigation, convicted at trial and sentenced to prison because of his own criminal conduct, and for no other reason. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho will continue to vigorously prosecute those who would hire others to commit murder. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho will continue to vigorously prosecute those who would try to influence and tamper with witnesses or victims. We are proud to partner with the North Idaho Violent Crime Task Force in these efforts.
Our sympathy remains with Mrs. Steele and her children.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.