Lionel Dean Molina Pleads 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 Great Falls on April 7, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, LIONEL DEAN MOLINA, a 39-year-old resident of Box Elder, pled guilty to accessory after the fact to the crime of burglary. Sentencing is set for July 9, 2009. He is currently 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:
On June 28, 2007, it was discovered that someone had broken into a building at Stone Child College and stolen an Arctic Cat quad, an air compressor, and over $12,000 in equine equipment, including seven saddles.
On August 8, 2007, another individual was arrested for conduct unrelated to the burglary at Stone Child College. While booking the individual into jail, it was discovered that he had a quad key in his possession.
On August 9, 2007, when the individual was interviewed by law enforcement, he admitted that he had broken into the building at Stone Child College on June 28, 2007, and moved several saddles and various other items of horse riding equipment out of the building. He then kicked another door open to get into the garage and loaded the saddles and other equipment on to the Arctic Cat and drove it to a coulee near his mother's house, where he hid it.
The individual stated that the next morning he enlisted MOLINA'S help to move the stolen equipment to another location.
On January 18, 2008, law enforcement contacted and interviewed MOLINA. During the interview, MOLINA admitted that he had helped the other individual move the stolen saddles to a house near Lodgepole on the Fort Belknap Reservation where he was living at the time. MOLINA stated that he did not report the other individual's actions because he did not want he or the other individual to get in trouble.
Law enforcement located the stolen Arctic Cat and also recovered the stolen air compressor from the individual who had purchased it. The equine equipment was not recovered.
The stolen equipment was valued at $13,000.
MOLINA faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $125,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebekah J. French prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Rocky Boy's Tribal Law Enforcement.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.