News and Press Releases

Avaline Yazzie Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, August 07, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on August 6, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, AVALINE YAZZIE, a 33-year-old resident of Browning, appeared for sentencing. YAZZIE was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 6 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

YAZZIE was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to distribution of cocaine.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On November 15, 2006, in Browning, which is within the exterior boundaries of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, a confidential informant conducted an undercover controlled purchase of cocaine from YAZZIE. The substance that was purchased from YAZZIE was later tested by the Drug Enforcement Administration Lab and confirmed to be cocaine.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that YAZZIE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, YAZZIE 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 Vince Carroll prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was conducted by the Blackfeet Safe Trails Task Force.



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