Lionel Dean Molina Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on June 24, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, LIONEL DEAN MOLINA, a 39-year-old resident of Box Elder, appeared for sentencing. MOLINA was sentenced to a term of:
- Probation: 3 years
- Special Assessment: $100
- Restitution: $10,567.45
MOLINA was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to accessory after the fact to the crime of burglary.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On June 28, 2007, it was discovered that someone had broken into a building at Stone Child College on the Rocky Boy's Reservation and stolen an Arctic Cat quad, an air compressor, and over $12,000 in equine equipment, including seven saddles.
On August 8, 2007, Tyrell Molina was arrested for conduct unrelated to the burglary at Stone Child College. While booking Tyrell Molina into jail, it was discovered that he had a quad key in his possession.
On August 9, 2007, when Tyrell Molina was interviewed by law enforcement, he admitted that he had broken into the building at Stone Child College on June 28, 2007, and moved several saddles and various other items of horse riding equipment out of the building. He then kicked another door open to get into the garage and loaded the saddles and other equipment on to the Arctic Cat and drove it to a coulee near his mother's house, where he hid it.
Tyrell Molina stated that the next morning he enlisted MOLINA'S help to move the stolen equipment to another location.
On January 18, 2008, law enforcement contacted and interviewed MOLINA. During the interview, MOLINA admitted that he had helped Tyrell Molina move the stolen saddles to a house near Lodgepole on the Fort Belknap Reservation where he was living at the time. MOLINA stated that he did not report Tyrell Molina's actions because he did not want he or Tyrell Molina to get in trouble.
Law enforcement located the stolen Arctic Cat and also recovered the stolen air compressor from the individual who had purchased it. The equine equipment was not recovered.
The stolen equipment was valued at $13,000.
Tyrell Molina pled guilty to federal charges and is awaiting sentencing.
LIONEL MOLINA and Tyrell Molina are both Indian persons.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that MOLINA will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, MOLINA 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 Rebekah J. French prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Chippewa-Cree Law Enforcement Division.