Steve S. Phaysith Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on September 28, 2010, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, STEVE S. PHAYSITH, a 43-year-old resident of Marysville, Washington, appeared for sentencing. PHAYSITH was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 60 months
- Special Assessment: $100
- Supervised Release: 4 years
PHAYSITH was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.
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:
On November 23, 2009, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper stopped PHAYSITH's truck for speeding on Interstate 90 near the Three Forks interchange. He issued PHAYSITH a warning for speeding and then asked PHAYSITH some questions about whether he was transporting drugs in the back of his truck. PHAYSITH eventually admitted that he had marijuana in the truck that he had been instructed to deliver to the Twin Cities in Minnesota.
Law enforcement officers from the Missouri River Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on PHAYSITH's truck and seized nine boxes, each filled with several vacuum-sealed, one-pound packages of marijuana. The DEA lab in San Francisco analyzed a statistical sample of the drugs and concluded that they were in fact marijuana. The total weight of the illicit substance was approximately 178 kilograms.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that PHAYSITH will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, PHAYSITH 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 Montana Highway Patrol and the Missouri River Drug Task Force.