Mark Eugene Bachteler Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on March 30, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, MARK EUGENE BACHTELER, a 26-year-old resident of Great Falls, appeared for sentencing.
BACHTELER was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 68 months
- Special Assessment: $100
- Supervised Release: 6 years
BACHTELER was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to distribution of methamphetamine.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
The Central Montana Drug Task Force (CMDTF) received information that BACHTELER, then on state supervision for criminal mischief, was in possession of methamphetamine. His girlfriend, with whom he resided, was also on supervision for the criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
On December 7, 2007, Probation and Parole officers, together with local law enforcement, conducted a search of BACHTELER'S home in Great Falls and discovered small amounts of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. BACHTELER was arrested and charged with felony possession of dangerous drugs.
On April 2, 2008, Probation and Parole conducted a second search of the BACHTELER residence and discovered methamphetamine and paraphernalia.
In March and April of 2008, the 16-year-old niece of BACHTELER'S girlfriend both negotiated for the sale of and sold methamphetamine for BACHTELER. On April 10, 2008, the juvenile and an informant working with the CMDTF arranged a meeting for the transfer of two grams of methamphetamine. She and two others, sources of methamphetamine supply for BACHTELER, were arrested. The suppliers provided information that for the past couple of months they had provided BACHTELER as much as 300 grams of methamphetamine for re-distribution.
When questiomed, BACHTELER admitted he drove his girlfriend's niece to the location for the drug deal and that he gave her advice when she found out the purchaser did not have enough money to purchase the entire amount of drugs she had for sale.
Between April 10 and April 15, 2008, an informant working with the CMDTF communicated with BACHTELER by text messaging and recorded conversations wherein the transaction of methamphetamine was discussed. During those conversations and messages, BACHTELER made clear that he had sold methamphetamine to others, that he both was owed and owed drug debts, and had various amounts of money available to buy various quantities of methamphetamine. He discussed the arrest of his girlfriend's niece, describing her as a "soldier" that would not disclose information about the drug organization.
CMDTF agents have interviewed several persons who confirmed having purchased methamphetamine from BACHTELER between January and April of this year.
On April 15, 2008, BACHTELER was arrested for a probation violation and the truck he was driving was searched. Officers found drug paraphernalia for use, which included needles, spoons, a scanner and an electronic scale for measurement of small amounts.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that BACHTELER will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, BACHTELER does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Central Montana Drug Task Force.S