News and Press Releases

Shawn Trent Burress Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, October 16, 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, SHAWN TRENT BURRESS, a 47-year-old resident of Kalispell, appeared for sentencing. BURRESS was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 114 days - credit for time served
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Fine: $1,000
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

BURRESS was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to being a felon-in-possession of ammunition.

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

On November 15, 2008, BURRESS, a convicted felon, was under state supervision, for failure to register as a sex offender and thereby prohibited from possession of any firearms or ammunition when Whitefish Police officers stopped him for traffic violations.

BURRESS was detained pending the investigation and when an officer patted him down, the officer found a .30 caliber round in his pocket. The officer also located four rounds of .30 caliber ammunition in the front cup holder of the vehicle, a box for .30 caliber ammunition in the passenger compartment, and a receipt for the .30 caliber ammunition dated November 15, 2008. The officer later recovered video from the local sporting goods store where BURRESS purchased the ammunition which clearly showed BURRESS purchasing the ammunition and paying for the ammunition with a personal check.

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

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Whitefish Police Department 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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