News and Press Releases

Stephen Eugene Farrell 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, STEPHEN EUGENE FARRELL, a 55-year-old resident of Helena, appeared for sentencing. FARRELL was sentenced to a term of:

  • Probation: 5 years
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Forfeiture: .45 cal. firearm and ammunition

FARRELL 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 May 31, 2007, FARRELL was convicted of two felony counts of driving under the influence in the First Judicial District of Montana.

On October 6, 2008, Helena Police Department officers were called to FARRELL'S residence for a disturbance. Upon their arrival, they observed FARRELL sitting in a chair in his apartment. They also heard FARRELL talk with slurred speech and could smell alcohol coming from the apartment. The officers then requested assistance from a Montana Probation and Parole officer when FARRELL refused to come to the door. The probation officer requested a breath test from FARRELL which confirmed he had been drinking and had a blood alcohol content of .268. The probation officer then ordered a search of FARRELL'S residence after detention officers located an ammunition magazine on his person during the booking process.

During a search of FARRELL'S residence, an officer asked a female present in the residence about any firearms. She advised that there was a pistol in the bedroom safe and stated that the firearm belonged to FARRELL. The officer then recovered a .45 caliber pistol after the female opened the safe. The officer also recovered various ammunition from FARRELL'S bedroom.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that FARRELL will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, FARRELL 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 Helena Police Department, Montana Probation and Parole, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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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