Justin Phillip Whiteman Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on December 16, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, JUSTIN PHILLIP WHITEMAN, a 20-year-old resident of Hardin, pled guilty to theft. Sentencing is set for March 17, 2010. He is currently released on special conditions.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On the evening of December 19, 2008, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) received a report that there was a stolen pickup that had been wrecked by the Busby Post Office on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. The pickup had been stolen from the yard of a nearby house and then wrecked at the post office location. The truck crashed into a semi-truck and was totaled. The driver of the pickup, later identified as WHITEMAN, fled the scene. The value of the truck is approximately $21,000.
After talking with some juveniles who were in a van following the truck, law enforcement learned that WHITEMAN got a ride to the residence by the juveniles in the van, and that he then took the truck and crashed it.
WHITEMAN faces possible penalties of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.