News and Press Releases

Celeste Anne Watson 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, CELESTE ANNE WATSON, a 62-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. WATSON was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 60 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 4 years

WATSON was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lori H. Suek and Jessica T. Fehr, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

WATSON was involved in drug trafficking with George Morris, who was the leader of a drug organization that distributed methamphetamine on the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations for a number of years. The investigation culminated in the seizure of money and methamphetamine on December 20, 2009.

During an interview with law enforcement, WATSON stated she had known Morris since the 1970's. She stated her son was very close to Morris and referred to Morris as her son's uncle. WATSON initially denied having any knowledge about Morris' drug activities. She then stated she could tell the agents a lot about Morris, but she had a "code" that she lived by, and she would rather go to prison than provide information to law enforcement.

When interviewed by law enforcement, Morris admitted to distributing 1/2 ounce and 1/4 ounce quantities of methamphetamine to WATSON two to three times per month from June 2007 to December 2009. Morris also recalled at least three - one ounce distributions of methamphetamine during the same time period. Other corroborating evidence would have supported Morris's statement.

Morris pled guilty to federal charges and has been sentenced.

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



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