News and Press Releases

Jeremiah Paul Stewart Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on July 22, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, JEREMIAH PAUL STEWART, a resident of Crow Agency, pled guilty to robbery. Sentencing is set for October 14, 2009. He is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On August 30, 2006, at approximately 10:30 p.m., law enforcement was advised of a robbery in progress at the TeePee Service, a convenience store in Crow Agency, located within the exterior boundaries of the Crow Indian Reservation. The clerk advised that the robber fled in a blue, two-door car and provided the direction in which the car drove.

The car, which belonged to a relative, was taken before the robbery without permission by STEWART and his cousin, Joral Stewart.

When interviewed, Joral stated that on the day of the robbery, he was drinking alcohol with STEWART at the car owner's house. Joral admitted that he and STEWART took the car after the owner passed out. Joral also admitted that he was the driver. While driving in Crow Agency, STEWART said that he wanted to rob a store. He then said, "let's go rob that store," referring to the TeePee Service. Joral responded that he did not want to, but he drove STEWART to the store. STEWART grabbed an old shirt from the back seat, ripped the shirt, and tied the cloth over his face. STEWART then grabbed a toy gun that was in the car. Joral parked the car on the west side of the store. STEWART got out of the car and asked Joral to wait.

Joral watched STEWART go into the store wearing a mask and carrying the toy gun. He saw STEWART talk to the clerk and point the gun at the clerk. Joral then saw the cashier wrestling with STEWART. He thought STEWART was caught, so he put the car in reverse and drove away. As he was driving, he heard someone yell "stop." In the rearview mirror, he saw STEWART running. Joral then stopped and let STEWART get into the car before driving off.

During the struggle with the clerk, STEWART lost the toy gun and the pieces of cloth covering his face and his shirt. The toy gun, recovered at the scene, was identified by the owner of the car as belonging to his son. DNA testing of the pieces of cloth and the shirt worn by the robber confirmed that the robber was STEWART.

The clerk also identified a photograph of STEWART as the robber. STEWART also made a statement to the owner of the car, after the robbery, that he had robbed the TeePee Service.

Joral Stewart pled guilty to federal charges and is awaiting sentencing.

STEWART faces possible penalties of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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