Errol Aram Mann Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls on March 16, 2010, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, ERROL ARAM MANN, a 33-year-old resident of Great Falls, pled guilty to being an armed career criminal. Sentencing has been set for June 21, 2010. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kory Larsen, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
Between November 5, 2008, and January 4, 2009, MANN and Patrick Henderson, both recently released by the Montana Department of Corrections on parole, were involved in burglaries of numerous businesses and residences in Great Falls and the surrounding area. During these burglaries, a large amount of personal property was stolen. The estimated value of the stolen items was over $85,000.
Sometime between January 3 and 4, 2009, the home of J.H. and L.H. in Great Falls was burglarized. The front door was forced open and a smudged shoe print was observed on the door. The home was ransacked and a safe and other personal property were taken. The safe contained two handguns, both .22 semi-auto pistols. These guns and a large amount of other stolen property were found in a storage unit rented by Henderson's sister.
Henderson's sister was questioned and admitted her involvement and named MANN and her brother as the planners and primary participants in the burglaries.
Witnesses would have testified that they saw MANN with one of the pistols in his hand. These same witnesses verified that both MANN and Henderson were present when the guns were stolen and when the safe was pried open and the gun removed.
MANN and Henderson were arrested while fleeing from the scene of a burglary on Skyline Drive in Great Falls. In Henderson's home, officers found shoes with treads that matched those found at the scene of many of the burglarized businesses and residences. The shoes also had broken glass fragments imbedded in them which matched the scene of several of the burglaries where windows and glass doors were broken to gain entry. Also found was a pry bar and a baseball bat. The bat had glass embedded in its surface as well.
Henderson called his other sister from jail after his arrest. During the call, he spoke about some of the stolen items including cigarettes and lottery tickets. Henderson's sister said she would get Henderson's property from the storage unit and put it in tubs and take it to her home. They also discussed that law enforcement would not be able to gain entry without a search warrant.
Henderson's sister rented a storage unit almost immediately after her brother was arrested, and pursuant to a state search warrant, law enforcement officers found a large amount of the stolen property inside. The storage unit is where the officers found the two firearms. Other property from the same burglary was found in Henderson's Ford Explorer which MANN and the witnesses said was the vehicle used in all of the burglaries.
MANN was interviewed and admitted involvement in some of the burglaries in the same area as the home where the guns were stolen.
On January 3, 2009, Henderson was evicted from his Great Falls apartment. Henderson had a storage shed at the apartment which contained the proceeds of burglaries committed with and without MANN. Henderson enlisted MANN to move the contents to his sister's residence. Among the items MANN moved was a gun case. MANN looked inside the gun case and saw a pistol which he briefly handled. This handgun was one of the two handguns found in the storage unit mentioned above.
Evidence would have been presented to show that MANN was convicted of felony assault on a minor in 2007 in Cascade County; convicted of felony burglary in 2003 in Cascade County; and convicted of felony aggravated assault in 1995 in Hill County. MANN was on parole for one or more of these convictions at the time the firearm was stolen and possessed.
Henderson pled guilty to federal charges and has been sentenced.
MANN faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 50 years in prison and could be sentenced to life, a $250,000 fine and at least 5 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Great Falls Police Department and the Cascade County Sheriff's Office.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.