News and Press Releases

Joel Wesley Speiser Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on February 11, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, JOEL WESLEY SPEISER, a 28-year-old resident of Montana, appeared for sentencing. SPEISER was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 37 months, consecutive to another sentence
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

SPEISER was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm.

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

On November 16, 1999, SPEISER received a ten year suspended sentence for felony burglary.

On May 3, 2007, a Montana Probation and Parole officer and agents from the Eastern Montana Drug Task Force went to SPEISER'S residence regarding a probation violation. An officer explained he was there to conduct a urinalysis on him. SPEISER then admitted he had just finished smoking a marijuana cigarette and pointed out where there was additional marijuana located in the room. The officer arrested SPEISER and agents then searched the residence. They located numerous items of drug paraphernalia, a large quantity of marijuana, and a Mossberg, Model New Haven 12 gauge shotgun which was loaded with three shot shells.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that SPEISER will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, SPEISER does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Zink prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was conducted by a cooperative effort between the Eastern Montana Drug Task Force, Montana Probation and Parole, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

This conviction is yet another important outcome from Project Safe Neighborhoods, a national priority of the United States Department of Justice. PSN is designed as a partnership between federal and local law enforcement to reduce violent crime and gun-related crime through the vigorous enforcement of the criminal provisions of the federal firearms laws. In Montana, the effort under PSN is called "Catch and No Release."



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