News and Press Releases

Rian Erik Britt Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula, on October 15, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, RIAN ERIK BRITT, a 32-year-old resident of Kalispell, appeared for sentencing. BRITT was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 12 months and 1 day
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

BRITT was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a user of a controlled substance.

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

On April 14, 2008, BRITT reported that his vehicle had been stolen by a friend (A.W.). The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office responded and located the vehicle which was being driven by A.W. The vehicle was impounded and a search warrant obtained based on information provided by A.W. The officers found 8.5 pounds of marijuana and 1 pound of hashish in the trunk, as well as a pistol in the backseat.

When interviewed while at the Sheriff's Office regarding the return of his vehicle, BRITT admitted to possession of both the pistol and the drugs. He also admitted to being a frequent user of marijuana.

The gun that BRITT possessed was a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, model 4053.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that BRITT will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, BRITT 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 Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

This conviction is yet another important outcome from Project Safe Neighborhoods, a national priority of the United States Department of Justice. PSN is designed as a partnership between federal and local law enforcement to reduce violent crime and gun-related crime through the vigorous enforcement of the criminal provisions of the federal firearms laws. In Montana, the effort under PSN is called "Catch and No Release."



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