News and Press Releases

Lance Michael Hartley Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Helena, on May 22, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Justin L. Quackenbush, LANCE MICHAEL HARTLEY, a 62-year-old resident of Missoula, appeared for sentencing. HARTLEY was sentenced to a term of:

  • Probation: 3 years
  • Special Assessment: $100

HARTLEY was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm.

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

On February 7, 1973, HARTLEY was convicted of assault and selling dangerous drugs in the State of New York.

On July 9, 2007, HARTLEY purchased a handgun from an associate who previously had burglarized his home in Missoula. The handgun was a Smith & Wesson .357 caliber revolver. HARTLEY learned the next day that the handgun was stolen in a burglary before he purchased it. HARTLEY turned the handgun into local law enforcement.

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

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Missoula Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Missoula County Sheriff's Office.

This conviction is yet another important outcome from Project Safe Neighborhoods, a national priority of the United States Department of Justice. PSN is designed as a partnership between federal and local law enforcement to reduce violent crime and gun-related crime through the vigorous enforcement of the criminal provisions of the federal firearms laws. In Montana, the effort under PSN is called "Catch and No Release."



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