News and Press Releases

Tyson Lee Garza Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on March 25, 2010, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, TYSON LEE GARZA, a 25-year-old resident of Helena, appeared for sentencing. GARZA was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 87 months, consecutive to another sentence
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

GARZA was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm.

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.

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