Danetta Old Elk Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on June 22, 2011, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, DANETTA OLD ELK, a 31-year-old resident of Hardin, appeared for sentencing. OLD ELK was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 97 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 5 years
OLD ELK was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to drug trafficking.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori H. Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) drug enforcement division has been involved in an ongoing investigation related to the distribution of meth in and around the Crow Indian Reservation. As part of that investigation, OLD ELK was identified as a distributor of methamphetamine.
On October 14, 2010, OLD ELK was interviewed and admitted that she began as a user of meth and around 2007, started distributing meth with her boyfriend. She continued until about August 2009. Specifically, she told law enforcement that, at some point in 2007, OLD ELK became involved with a local distributor and moved from being a user to a distributor.
In September of 2008, OLD ELK obtained two local sources of meth and obtained a couple of ounces of meth at a time every other day. She was initially charged $1,600 per ounce, but that was reduced at some point, to $1,300 per ounce.
In January 2009, OLD ELK and another individual obtained one kilogram of meth from a supplier in Dallas. After the first transaction, OLD ELK and the other individual obtained two kilograms of meth every other week. She continued distributing meth in Hardin, Billings, and on the Crow Reservation until August 2009.
A confidential source would have testified that s/he purchased 3.4 grams of meth (57% pure) from OLD ELK in Hardin on March 24, 2009.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that OLD ELK will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, OLD ELK 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 Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.