News and Press Releases

Travis Van Schaick Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on June 29, 2011, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, TRAVIS VAN SCHAICK, a 28-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. VAN SCHAICK was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 87 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 5 years

VAN SCHAICK was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

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

In January of 2009, agents executed a search warrant at Robert Archuleta's residence. He was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and firearms. He later debriefed with authorities and admitted he had distributed several pounds of methamphetamine. He identified one of his main distributors as VAN SCHAICK. The firearm found in Archuleta's pocket had been recently purchased by VAN SCHAICK at a retail store in Billings. This was a "straw purchase" by VAN SCHAICK for his source of supply, since Archuleta was not yet 21 and could not purchase a handgun.

Agents interviewed other cooperating witnesses, who also advised that VAN SCHAICK was distributing methamphetamine. Among them were Shimmeri Selph and Chester Secrist. Secrist stated he sold VAN SCHAICK over one (1) pound of methamphetamine between December of 2007 and January of 2009, and purchased approximately one and a half (11/2) pounds of methamphetamine from VAN SCHAICK between 2005 and 2009 (3/4 of a pound between 2008 and 2009).

Archuleta told investigators that he had supplied VAN SCHAICK with approximately two (2) pounds of methamphetamine between March of 2008 and January of 2009.

In February of 2010, an undercover agent purchased a half (1/2) ounce of meth from VANS CHAICK. Thereafter, the agent made the following additional purchases of meth from VAN SCHAICK: 3/4 of an ounce on March 4, 2010; 1 ounce on March 9, 2010; and 1 ounce on March 17, 2010. On May 28, 2010, an informant purchased a half-ounce of meth from VAN SCHAICK.

On June 15, 2010, agents approached VAN SCHAICK and interviewed him. He admitted to obtaining and distributing over 500 grams of methamphetamine from Archuleta between the end of 2007 and January of 2009. He also admitted to purchasing the gun for Archuleta and trading it to him for methamphetamine. VAN SCHAICK further admitted to purchasing between 24-48 ounces of methamphetamine from Secrist between the summer of 2008 and January of 2009 and several other ounces to other individuals.

VAN SCHAICK possessed with the intent to distribute at least 1.5 kilos of methamphetamine during the time charged.

Archuleta, Secrist and Selph pled guilty to federal charges and have been sentenced.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that VANSCHAICK will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, VANSCHAICK 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 conducted by the Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.



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