News and Press Releases

Stephen Eugene Farrell Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula on February 5, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, STEPHEN EUGENE FARRELL, a 55-year-old resident of Helena, pled guilty to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm. Sentencing is set for May 7, 2009. He is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On May 31, 2007, FARRELL was convicted of two felony counts of driving under the influence in the First Judicial District of Montana.

On October 6, 2008, Helena Police Department officers were called to FARRELL'S residence for a disturbance. Upon their arrival, they observed FARRELL sitting in a chair in his apartment. They also heard FARRELL talk with slurred speech and could smell alcohol coming from the apartment. The officers then requested assistance from a Montana Probation and Parole officer when FARRELL refused to come to the door. The probation officer requested a breath test from FARRELL which confirmed he had been drinking and had a blood alcohol content of .268. The probation officer then ordered a search of FARRELL'S residence after detention officers located an ammunition magazine on his person during the booking process.

During a search of FARRELL'S residence, an officer asked a female present in the residence about any firearms. She advised that there was a pistol in the bedroom safe and stated that the firearm belonged to FARRELL. The officer then recovered a .45 caliber pistol after the female opened the safe. The officer also recovered various ammunition from FARRELL'S bedroom.

FARRELL faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Helena Police Department, Montana Probation and Parole, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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