Tara Rauschendorfer Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on February 4, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, TARA RAUSCHENDORFER, a 24-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. RAUSCHENDORFER was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 15 months
- Special Assessment: $100
- Supervised Release: 4 years
RAUSCHENDORFER was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute 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:
In the fall of 2008, federal agents with the FBI and DEA began conducting independent drug trafficking cases targeting several subjects in Billings. They later realized the different cells were connected to the same source of supply and began working the case jointly. The source of supply in Billings was identified as Shon Kalani Flores.
During the latter part of the cocaine distribution conspiracy, Flores and RAUSCHENDORFER began living together in Billings. In approximately January 2009, RAUSCHENDORFER joined the cocaine conspiracy.
The investigation reveals that RAUSCHENDORFER allowed Flores to use her vehicle to obtain multiple ounces of cocaine from Salt Lake City. In addition, RAUSCHENDORFER rented cars for Flores to travel to Salt Lake City to obtain cocaine in multiple ounce quantities and return the cocaine to Billings for redistribution to various individuals and groups. RAUSCHENDORFER also aided Flores by distributing approximately 3 ounces of cocaine herself.
During the period of the conspiracy, others distributing cocaine for Flores would deliver cash proceeds to RAUSCHENDORFER, and she in turn delivered the money to Flores as payment for the cocaine.
Also, during the period of the conspiracy, surveillance teams observed Flores use RAUSCHENDORFER'S vehicle to make numerous deliveries of cocaine throughout Billings.
The amount of cocaine that RAUSCHENDORFER was responsible for and which was directly and reasonably foreseeable to her in the conspiracy exceeded 500 grams.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that RAUSCHENDORFER will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, RAUSCHENDORFER 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 Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.