Tyler Jay Skelton Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on July 13, 2011, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, TYLER JAY SKELTON, a 20-year-old resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, appeared for sentencing. SKELTON was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 130 months
Special Assessment: $200
Supervised Release: 5 years
SKELTON was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.
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:
From February 2007 until August 2009, SKELTON, along with Jason Mills and Aaron Minnix, distributed methamphetamine in Billings for a larger organization based out of Law Vegas, Nevada. Agents with the Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force and the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force received information that SKELTON and Minnix were involved in a traffic stop on August 9, 2009, in Roosevelt County. During a search warrant by the Montana Highway Patrol, SKELTON and Minnix were found to be in possession of approximately on-half pound of methamphetamine, two firearms, a large sum of cash, and miscellaneous paraphernalia and drug evidence.
On August 13, 2009 a search of SKELTON's residence resulted in the seizure of over $24,000, cutting agents, baggies, and other paraphernalia.
SKELTON provided statements on both August 13, 2009, and August 14, 2009, in which he admitted he was from Las Vegas, Nevada, and was working for a larger organization based out of Las Vegas which was responsible for transporting methamphetamine from Nevada to Billings, where it was redistributed.
SKELTON further admitted to possessing the approximately $5,000 in cash and the digital scale seized during the traffic stop on August 9, 2009 in Roosevelt County. He also confirmed that he possessed the firearm for protection of his drugs and himself. SKELTON further admitted to distributing between four and five pound of methamphetamine from approximately April of 2009 to August of 2009.
Minnix and Mills 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 SKELTON will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, SKELTON 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 Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force and the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force.