News and Press Releases

Joel Duane Sease Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on November 10, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, JOEL DUANE SEASE, a resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. SEASE was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 76 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 8 years

SEASE was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine.

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

On April 17, 2008, a controlled drug purchase was set up between an individual and a confidential informant (CI). The controlled purchase was to be for approximately two ounces of powder cocaine for $3,100. When the CI and an undercover officer met with the individual to purchase the cocaine, SEASE was identified as the passenger in the vehicle. During the meeting with the other individual, SEASE got out of the vehicle and went over to the undercover officer's vehicle. SEASE told them that their small purchase of $3,000 was nothing and indicated he was used to dealing in much higher quantities. SEASE was present when the other individual distributed 44.70 grams of cocaine to the undercover officer.

On April 24, 2008, SEASE was present with another individual when he distributed 27.20 grams of cocaine.

On September 11, 2008, another individual advised law enforcement that SEASE was selling cocaine for this individual during the period of the conspiracy. Between December 2007 and April 2008, the individual obtained over five pounds of cocaine and SEASE helped him distribute the cocaine. SEASE also acted as a middle man for him and helped distribute additional cocaine.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that SEASE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, SEASE 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 conducted by the Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.



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