News and Press Releases

Raymond Reland Eli Johns Pleads Guilty and Sentenced in U.S. Federal Cour

Friday, August 12, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on August 11, 2011, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, RAYMOND RELAND ELI JOHNS, a 36-year-old resident of Lame Deer, pled guilty and was sentenced on the charge of assault on a child under the age of 16.

JOHNS was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 1 year, consecutive to a previous sentence

Special Assessment: $25

Supervised Release: 1 year

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

JOHNS came to the attention of law enforcement in Lame Deer when allegations surfaced that JOHNS had distributed marijuana on numerous occasions to minors in the Lame Deer area. During that investigation, JOHNS' then 13-year-old step-son disclosed to school personnel that he had been routinely physically abused by JOHNS. During an interview, the child disclosed ongoing and repeated physical abuse beginning in approximately 2007 and continuing until JOHNS was arrested on tribal drug charges in August, 2010. The boy finally disclosed the abuse because JOHNS called from the jail and the child was afraid that JOHNS would come to the house where they were staying and hurt them. The child described how he was struck repeatedly by JOHNS with fists, firearms, a pellet gun, a television remote control, a fire-place poker, a broom, and kicked, especially in the genitals. JOHNS threatened the child not to tell anyone. The child's younger brothers corroborate the physical abuse, as does his mother. JOHNS is an Indian person and the events occurred within the exterior boundaries of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that JOHNS will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, JOHNS 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.



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