Joel Duane Sease Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on July 1, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, JOEL DUANE SEASE, a resident of Billings, pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine. Sentencing is set for September 30, 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 April 17, 2008, a controlled drug purchase was set up between an individual and a confidential informant (CI). The controlled purchase was to be for approximately two ounces of powder cocaine for $3,100. When the CI and an undercover officer met with the individual to purchase the cocaine, SEASE was identified as the passenger in the vehicle. During the meeting with the other individual, SEASE got out of the vehicle and went over to the undercover officer's vehicle. SEASE told them that their small purchase of $3,000 was nothing and indicated he was used to dealing in much higher quantities. SEASE was present when the other individual distributed 44.70 grams of cocaine to the undercover officer.
On April 24, 2008, SEASE was present with another individual when he distributed 27.20 grams of cocaine.
On September 11, 2008, another individual advised law enforcement that SEASE was selling cocaine for this individual during the period of the conspiracy. Between December 2007 and April 2008, the individual obtained over five pounds of cocaine and SEASE helped him distribute the cocaine. SEASE also acted as a middle man for him and helped distribute additional cocaine.
SEASE faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to life, a $4,000,000 fine and at least 8 years supervised release. .
Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Seykora prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was conducted by the Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.