News and Press Releases

Justin Lightly Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on May 24, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, JUSTIN LIGHTLY, a 22-year-old resident of Nespelem, Washington, appeared for sentencing. LIGHTLY was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 60 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 5 years

LIGHTLY was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute cocaine..

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

Upon investigation, it was determined that LIGHTLY was involved in the distribution of cocaine from approximately November 2009 through February of 2010. Various witnesses would have testified that LIGHTLY was responsible during this time frame for the distribution of more than 500 grams of cocaine in and around Missoula and Mineral Counties, and elsewhere here in the District of Montana.

Specifically, Confidential Source # 1 would have testified that s/he distributed cocaine to LIGHTLY seven or eight times in two-three ounce quantities.

Confidential Source # 2 would have testified that s/he observed LIGHTLY transport approximately nine ounces of cocaine on at least three separate occasions.

Finally, the government would have presented evidence to prove that on February 5, 2010, at Missoula County, law enforcement officers stopped a silver Audi sedan that was traveling eastbound on I-90 between Huson and Frenchtown. The registered owner and driver was J.R., who gave signed consent to search his vehicle. The search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of approximately 145 grams of cocaine. The cocaine was hidden in a compartment located in the center of the rear passenger seats. LIGHTLY was one of the people who was waiting for a portion of said cocaine.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that LIGHTLY will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, LIGHTLY 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 Drug Enforcement Administration and the Northwest Montana Drug Task Force.



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