News and Press Releases

Dustyn W. Rothgeb Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on June 16, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, DUSTYN W. ROTHGEB, a 29-year-old resident of Roberts, pled guilty to possession of a firearm not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Sentencing is set for September 15, 2009. He is currently detained.

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

On May 27, 2008, the Carbon County Sheriff's Office and the Red Lodge Police Department received a report of a man walking around the town of Roberts and threatening people with a shotgun. Dispatch told responding officers the problem started at a bar, but had moved to a residence. Law enforcement arrived at the residence and located ROTHGEB, two other males, and a female outside. All were intoxicated. A deputy secured ROTHGEB in handcuffs as he matched the description of the male with the shotgun.

Another deputy went to the bar and spoke with a witness. The witness advised that a female at the bar started a fight and was told to leave. The witness said ROTHGEB then joined in the fight and attacked him. The witness said he calmed ROTHGEB down and drove ROTHGEB back to ROTHGEB'S residence. The witness said ROTHGEB then ran into the residence and came back outside with a short pistol-gripped shotgun. The witness said when he saw the shotgun, he left in fear. He said he heard ROTHGEB making comments about wanting to kill someone.

Another witness at the scene said ROTHGEB was trying to return to the bar with the shotgun. The witness said ROTHGEB was making comments about "taking care of business." This witness told an officer that it took several people to restrain ROTHGEB from going back to the bar with the gun. The witness said once they talked him out of going back with the gun, ROTHGEB threw the gun away on the ground. The witness showed the officer where the shotgun was discarded and the officers recovered a Remington 870 Express 20 gauge shotgun, with a sawed-off barrel of about 161/2 inches and a modified pistol grip.

An agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted a search of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record and did not locate any registration for this firearm nor any weapons registered to ROTHGEB.

ROTHGEB 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 Red Lodge Police Department, the Carbon 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.



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