News and Press Releases

Dustin Joseph Mckinney Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on April 9, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, DUSTIN JOSEPH McKINNEY, a 29-year-old resident of Great Falls, appeared for sentencing. McKINNEY was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 46 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 4 years

McKINNEY was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

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

In 2006, officers of the Great Falls Police Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began to investigate the illegal distribution of methamphetamine in Great Falls.

The officers learned that J.C. (an indicted co-conspirator who is a fugitive), had imported multiple pounds of methamphetamine from California to Great Falls in the time period between January 1, 2005 and July 1, 2006.

As part of their investigation the officers interviewed Tiffany King. She informed the officers that J.C. had employed her and another co-conspirator, A.B., as distributors of methamphetamine in Great Falls. King said she had personally delivered more than 50 grams of methamphetamine to A.B. to distribute.

A.B. stated that McKINNEY was involved in the distribution as a co-conspirator through another co-conspirator, J.D. J.D. testified before a grand jury that McKINNEY was involved in the distribution and he, J.D., had delivered more than 50 grams of methamphetamine to McKINNEY to distribute.

Following his arrest, McKINNEY was interviewed and admitted to the authorities that he had distributed methamphetamine on behalf of J.D. McKINNEY further admitted that he distributed a large quantity of a substance or mixture containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. During the interview officers determined the weight distributed by McKINNEY in total was in excess of 50 grams based on each separate incident he spoke of.

King, A.B., and J.D. pled guilty to federal charges. King and A.B. have been sentenced and J.D. is awaiting sentencing.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that McKINNEY will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, McKINNEY 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 Kory Larsen prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Great Falls Police Department.



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