News and Press Releases

James Mack Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on July 24, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, JAMES MACK, a 30-year-old resident of Denver, Colorado, appeared for sentencing. MACK was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 37 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 5 years

MACK was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute over 5 kilos of cocaine.

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

On September 11, 2008, an undercover Montana Division of Criminal Investigation (MDCI) agent purchased two ounces of cocaine from an individual in Billings. The purchase was part of an ongoing investigation by the MDCI of cocaine trafficking in Billings.

During the transaction, the agent agreed to purchase four pounds of cocaine from the individual's source of supply who lived in Denver, Colorado. Further investigation led the authorities to conclude the source of supply was an individual identified hereafter as C.S. 1.

On September 16, 2008, the Montana Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration made a traffic stop on a vehicle on Interstate 90 in Montana. C.S. 1 was the passenger in the vehicle. A search of the vehicle disclosed the presence of six pounds of marijuana and approximately three kilograms of purported cocaine.

C.S. 1 disclosed that he was going to deliver the cocaine to customers in Billings. He stated he planned to take the proceeds from the sale of cocaine back to Denver, Colorado, where he would provide at least some of the money from the sale to Travis Henry and MACK.

C.S. 1 identified Henry as the "money guy" in the conspiracy, that is the person who financed at least part of the operation. C.S. 1 said he had only known Henry for a few months but that he had known MACK for several years.

C.S. 1 said on two other recent occasions he had successfully delivered a total of three kilograms from Denver to Billings.

C.S. 1 stated that his most recent delivery of cocaine to Billings went awry when the customer was robbed of approximately $40,000 of drug proceeds which should have been paid to C.S. 1, Henry and MACK. C.S. 1 stated that Henry and MACK held him and the customer jointly responsible for the lost money.

C.S. 1 said that he hoped to make up the lost money by distributing the drugs seized from his vehicle by the authorities on September 16, 2008. He said two kilograms of the cocaine seized by the authorities from his vehicle were fake. He said the other kilogram actually contained cocaine. He said he planned to sell the fake cocaine to allow him to repay money he owed to Henry and MACK.

C.S. 1 then agreed to assist the authorities. As part of that assistance, he disclosed that he had been involved in the conspiracy since approximately 2006. He said that the conspiracy involved in excess of five kilograms of cocaine, some of which was delivered to Montana customers and some of which Montana customers traveled to Denver to obtain from him.

As part of his assistance, C.S. 1 also agreed to participate in a "reverse sting," pursuant to which he would deliver cocaine to Henry and MACK under the supervision of law enforcement officers.

On September 30, 2008, C.S. 1 delivered six kilograms of cocaine to Henry and MACK as part of the reverse sting. Thereafter, Henry and MACK were arrested.

Travis Henry pled guilty to federal charges and has been sentenced.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that MACK will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, MACK does 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, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Montana Highway Patrol and the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force.



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