Ronald Charles Peppers Found Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that on June 27, 2011, in Great Falls, after a federal district court trial before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, RONALD CHARLES PEPPERS, a 35-year-old resident of the Blackfeet Reservation, was found guilty of assault of a federal officer. Sentencing is set for October 31, 2011. He is currently detained.
At trial, the following evidence and testimony was presented to the jury.
In October 2010, Blackfeet law enforcement went to PEPPER's mother's trailer in Blackfoot, a community northwest of Browning, to investigate allegations of domestic violence but could not raise anyone to answer the door. As they returned toward Browning they spotted his mother's vehicle and made contact with her. She advised that PEPPERS was in the trailer. She gave the officers permission to enter the trailer and advised them that if the door was locked where they could find a spare key. She also advised that she did have a shotgun on the premises which she kept unloaded, under her bed.
Officers returned to the trailer where they found the door unlocked and entered the residence. Officers found PEPPERS sleeping on a couch with a loaded shotgun on the coffee table next to the sofa. They placed PEPPERS under arrest. As he was being searched for other weapons and contraband, PEPPERS bit the FBI agent who was arresting PEPPERS, handcuffing him, and taking him into custody.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley prosecuted the case for the United States.
PEPPERS faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Blackfeet Criminal Investigation Division, and Glacier County Sheriff's Office.