News and Press Releases

Tyson Lee Garza Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Helena on December 29, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, TYSON LEE GARZA, a 25-year-old resident of Helena, pled guilty to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm. Sentencing is set for March 23, 2010. He is currently detained.

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

On September 26, 2003, GARZA was convicted in Yellowstone County of felony assault with a weapon, thereby prohibiting him from future possession of any firearms.

Between January 9 and March 27, 2009, GARZA stole a Hatsan Escort model, 12 gauge shotgun from an individual identified hereafter as "A.P."

A.P. knew GARZA but did not know the shotgun was stolen until law enforcement informed him that it had been recovered. GARZA had helped A.P. move his belongings from another home into a storage unit.

Between March 23 and March 26, 2009, GARZA and two others discussed robbing a local drug dealer. The first person did not want to be involved, and the second person did not show up to participate in the robbery. GARZA did not attempt the robbery alone.

Then, GARZA, angry that the second person bailed on the robbery plan, went to the residence of a third person looking for the second. GARZA had the loaded shotgun with him and pointed the shotgun at the third person. GARZA told the third person that he was there to kill the second person for backing out of the robbery. The third person was able to wrestle the shotgun from GARZA and forced GARZA to leave the residence. Law enforcement recovered the shotgun a few days later.

GARZA faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Helena Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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