Christopher Stiles and Luis Alberto Rocha Plead Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during federal court sessions in Missoula on April 26, 2010, CHRISTOPHER STILES, a 20-year-old resident of Las Vegas, Nevada (formerly of Bozeman), and LUIS ALBERTO ROCHA, a 27-year-old resident of Bozeman, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
STILES' sentencing has been set for July 28, 2010, and ROCHA's sentencing has been set for July 21, 2010.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
The investigation in this case began in 2008, when the FBI and the Missouri River Drug Task Force received information that several young males in the Bozeman area were distributing cocaine, including to local high school students. Specifically, law enforcement received information that cocaine was being distributed from a residence located not far from Bozeman High School. The task force members and the FBI began conducting surveillance on the house and eventually identified several men that appeared to be involved in the suspected distribution of cocaine. Officers also used confidential informants to make controlled purchases of cocaine in order to identify the members of the conspiracy. They eventually concluded that STILES was one of the men selling cocaine and ROCHA was his supplier.
On June 26, 2009, STILES sold two 8-balls of cocaine to an undercover officer. On July 1, 2009, STILES sold approximately one-half ounce of cocaine to a confidential informant; and on January 6, 2010, STILES sold one 8-ball of cocaine to a confidential informant.
On January 22, 2010, STILES was interviewed by law enforcement. He admitted that he began receiving cocaine from ROCHA during the summer of 2008. He initially received one-half ounce each week, then one or two ounces per week, and eventually he received two ounces per week. During his involvement in the conspiracy, STILES received between approximately 1.5 and two kilograms of cocaine from ROCHA.
STILES also assisted ROCHA in other aspects of the operation. He traveled with ROCHA on three separate occasions to pick up cocaine - twice to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and once to Albuquerque and to El Paso, Texas. When ROCHA returned to Bozeman with cocaine, he would usually double the quantity using inositol, ammonia, acetone, or ether. STILES assisted ROCHA on one occasion when ROCHA cut one-quarter pound of cocaine in order to increase the weight to one-half pound. On another occasion, STILES saw ROCHA in possession of one entire kilogram of cocaine.
STILES faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 40 years, a $2,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised release. Due to his prior felony drug conviction, ROCHA faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to life, a $4,000,000 fine and at least 8 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Missouri River Drug Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.