Robert Lynam Eddleman and Terri Jabs Kurth Plead Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on March 11, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, ROBERT LYNAM EDDLEMAN, a 51-year-old resident of Red Lodge, and TERRI JABS KURTH, a 44-year-old resident of Billings, each pled guilty to conspiracy to maintain drug involved premisses. Sentencing is set for June 17, 2009. EDDLEMAN was detained and KURTH was released on special conditions.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In August of 2007, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation began to investigate D.B. for trafficking cocaine in Billings and Red Lodge.
During the course of the investigation, authorities learned that EDDLEMAN had purchased cocaine from D.B. over a period of several years and engaged in the recreational use of the cocaine.
Authorities also learned that KURTH had purchased cocaine from D.B. over a period of several years and that she and EDDLEMAN had allowed her residences in Billings and Red Lodge to be used for the periodic storage and consumption of small amounts of cocaine at parties she hosted since at least 2004.
On September 8, 2008, the authorities had probable cause to believe KURTH had purchased cocaine from D.B. The authorities stopped her vehicle and searched it. They did not recover any cocaine in the vehicle, but found a tube used for ingesting cocaine in the vehicle.
The authorities also searched KURTH and EDDLEMAN, who was a passenger in the vehicle. The authorities recovered another tube used for snorting cocaine in KURTH'S makeup case. They found another such tube on EDDLEMAN. All of the tubes subsequently tested positive for cocaine when analyzed by a DEA chemist.
Both KURTH and EDDLEMAN were released. EDDLEMAN was later interviewed by the authorities and confirmed that he and KURTH had cocaine hidden in the vehicle on September 8, 2008. He stated that the authorities had failed to find the cocaine. EDDLEMAN also stated that after they were released by the authorities, he and KURTH went to her home in Billings, where they consumed the cocaine.
Following September 8, 2008, the authorities interviewed various friends and acquaintances of both EDDLEMAN and KURTH, all of whom confirmed that KURTH and EDDLEMAN hosted parties at KURTH'S homes in Billings and Red Lodge where cocaine was used during the time period alleged in the indictment.
EDDLEMAN and KURTH each face possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $500,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. Thaggard and Vince Carroll prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.