News and Press Releases

Javier Gutierrez-paz Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on June 12, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, JAVIER GUTIERREZ-PAZ, a 28-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. GUTIERREZ-PAZ was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 16 months
  • Special Assessment: $ 100
  • Supervised Release: 5 years

GUTIERREZ-PAZ was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

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

In August of 2007, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation (MDCI) was engaged in the investigation of the trafficking of cocaine in Billings.

As part of that investigation, on August 1, 2007, an undercover MDCI agent purchased one ounce of cocaine from an individual. GUTIERREZ-PAZ was present during the transaction and was introduced to the agent. It was clear to the agent that GUTIERREZ-PAZ was the source of supply for the cocaine the agent had received from the other individual.

On August 30, 2007, the agent purchased two ounces of cocaine from GUTIERREZ-PAZ. He purchased another ounce of cocaine from GUTIERREZ-PAZ on September 13, 2007.

All of the substances were analyzed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and found to contain a detectable amount of cocaine.

When interviewed on October 23, 2008, GUTIERREZ-PAZ admitted that he had distributed cocaine to the undercover agent.

GUTIERREZ-PAZ further admitted that, in approximately August/September 2007, he had received cocaine from an individual who served as GUTIERREZ-PAZ'S source of supply. GUTIERREZ-PAZ stated that he, in turn, distributed that cocaine to other people with whom the individual was unwilling to be directly involved. GUTIERREZ-PAZ stated he distributed about 20 ounces of cocaine to another individual during the course of his involvement in the conspiracy.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that GUTIERREZ-PAZ will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, GUTIERREZ-PAZ 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 Joseph E. Thaggard prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was conducted by a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration, Montana Department of Criminal Investigations and the City-County Special Investigation Unit in Billings.



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