Jeremiah Harris 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 Billings on April 8, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, JEREMIAH HARRIS, age 25, pled guilty to possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Sentencing is set for July 9, 2009.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On January 21, 2007, at approximately 1:30 a.m., a Billings Police officer observed a vehicle parked in the lot of a closed Billings park. The driver of the vehicle identified himself to the officer as JEREMIAH HARRIS. When the officer asked HARRIS to exit the truck, the officer observed what appeared to be a white powder in plain view on the floorboard of the truck and also saw a plastic baggie with a white powder residue in it, laying on the ground near the truck. The officer then saw a piece of plastic on the ground where HARRIS had just been standing. Suspecting the powder was either methamphetamine or cocaine, the officer called for a canine. During a search of the vehicle, a Glock Model 31 .357 SIG semi-automatic pistol with an obliterated serial number was recovered.
The Montana State Crime was able to restore the serial number. With this information, law enforcement was able to determine the firearm had been stolen. When officers contacted the owner of the firearm, the owner identified HARRIS as the likely suspect in its theft.
HARRIS faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Zink prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Billings Police Department, the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, 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.