News and Press Releases

Joshua Scarborough Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, February 12, 2010

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on January 11, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, JOSHUA SCARBOROUGH, a 20-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. SCARBOROUGH was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 60 months
  • Special Assessment: $200
  • Restitution: to be determined
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

SCARBOROUGH was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to theft of firearms from a federal licensee.

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

On February 3, 2009, the DaddyO's Pawn shop at 1116 Central Avenue in Billings was burglarized. The burglary was committed in the early morning hours and was accomplished when a stolen vehicle was driven through the front windows of the store. During the burglary, two firearms were stolen, a Cobra model 380, .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol and a Taurus model 24/7 9mm semi-automatic pistol. DaddyO's Pawn shop is a federally licensed dealer of firearms.

On February 13, 2009, Billings police detectives received an anonymous tip that Joshua Qualls was involved in the DaddyO's Pawn shop burglary. Following this tip, and through witness interviews, Qualls and SCARBOROUGH were identified as the suspects. Witnesses told police that Qualls admitted to them that he and SCARBOROUGH were responsible for breaking into DaddyO's pawn shop. With this information, Qualls was interviewed on March 12, 2009. Qualls said he and SCARBOROUGH were involved in the burglary of DaddyO's Pawn shop on February 2, 2009. Qualls described the events that he could remember, including the theft of a Ford Expedition. Qualls said after they stole the Expedition, he and SCARBOROUGH drove two vehicles to the area, parking one. Then Qualls said he got into the Expedition with SCARBOROUGH. Qualls said SCARBOROUGH drove the Expedition through the front of the store, while Qualls braced himself. Qualls said they left the Expedition in the store and fled on foot to the other vehicle and drove away.

Qualls said he didn't remember everything, but he did recall handling two firearms afterward. Qualls was unable to tell remember the location of the two stolen guns and they have not yet been recovered. The business itself was heavily damaged during the burglary and theft.

On February 18, 2009, two males and a female entered Scheels All Sports in Billings. Scheels is a federally licensed firearms dealer. The males approached a glass case containing firearms and managed to open the case. One or both reached in and removed two firearms, later identified as a Beretta 21A .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol and a Magnum Research Micro Eagle .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

The two men escaped without apprehension but store video equipment taped the theft and clearly captured images of the two males, along with a female nearby, during the commission of the theft.

Billings police detectives and ATF coordinated their investigation as it overlapped the ongoing investigation involving the theft of firearms from DaddyO's pawn shop. Investigation and witness statements led to the discovery of Victor Adams' involvement relatively quickly. Several witnesses identified Adams and SCARBOROUGH on the video surveillance.

When interviewed, Adams provided a full confession and in which he implicated SCARBOROUGH as the other male involved.

Presently, none of the stolen firearms from Scheels or DaddyO's have been recovered. However, police recovered photographs of two of them from a cell phone belonging to an associate of Qualls and SCARBOROUGH, along with a statement about how and when those pictures were taken.

Adams and Qualls pled guilty to federal charges and have been sentenced.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that SCARBOROUGH will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, SCARBOROUGH 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 Billings Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & 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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