Robert Lynam Eddleman and Terri Jabs Kurth 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 Billings, on July 16, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, ROBERT LYNAM EDDLEMAN, a 51-year-old resident of Red Lodge, and TERRI JABS KURTH, a 44-year-old resident of Billings, each appeared for sentencing. EDDLEMAN was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 30 months
- Special Assessment: $ 100
- Supervised Release: 3 years
EDDLEMAN was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to maintain drug involved premisses.
KURTH was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 8 months
- Special Assessment: $ 100
- Fine: $10,000
- Supervised Release: 2 years
KURTH was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to conspiracy to maintain drug involved premisses.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. Thaggard and Vince Carroll, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In August of 2007, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation began to investigate D.B. for trafficking cocaine in Billings and Red Lodge.
During the course of the investigation, authorities learned that EDDLEMAN had purchased cocaine from D.B. over a period of several years and engaged in the recreational use of the cocaine.
Authorities also learned that KURTH had purchased cocaine from D.B. over a period of several years and that she and EDDLEMAN had allowed her residences in Billings and Red Lodge to be used for the periodic storage and consumption of small amounts of cocaine at parties she hosted since at least 2004.
On September 8, 2008, the authorities had probable cause to believe KURTH had purchased cocaine from D.B. The authorities stopped her vehicle and searched it. They did not recover any cocaine in the vehicle, but found a tube used for ingesting cocaine in the vehicle.
The authorities also searched KURTH and EDDLEMAN, who was a passenger in the vehicle. The authorities recovered another tube used for snorting cocaine in KURTH'S makeup case. They found another such tube on EDDLEMAN. All of the tubes subsequently tested positive for cocaine when analyzed by a DEA chemist.
Both KURTH and EDDLEMAN were released. EDDLEMAN was later interviewed by the authorities and confirmed that he and KURTH had cocaine hidden in the vehicle on September 8, 2008. He stated that the authorities had failed to find the cocaine. EDDLEMAN also stated that after they were released by the authorities, he and KURTH went to her home in Billings, where they consumed the cocaine.
Following September 8, 2008, the authorities interviewed various friends and acquaintances of both EDDLEMAN and KURTH, all of whom confirmed that KURTH and EDDLEMAN hosted parties at KURTH'S homes in Billings and Red Lodge where cocaine was used during the time period alleged in the indictment.
In a sentencing memorandum filed by Eddleman, he objected to an obstruction enhancement to his sentence recommended by the Probation Officer, stating he declined to prosecute cases due to alleged Montana Division of Criminal Investigation misconduct and not his connection with the targets of those investigations. At his sentencing hearing, Eddleman withdrew his objection to the obstruction of justice enhancement.
After today's sentencing, U.S. Attorney Bill Mercer said: "Today's sentence demonstrates again, that no individual is above the law. Those that choose to involve themselves in the distribution of dangerous drugs like cocaine will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that EDDLEMAN and KURTH will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, EDDLEMAN and KURTH do have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.