Joseph Two Hearts, Dale Jerome Bear and Anthony Aaron Mazawasicuna Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on August 29, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JOSEPH TWO HEARTS, age 20, DALE JEROME BEAR, age 26, and ANTHONY AARON MAZAWASICUNA, age 20, residents of Poplar, appeared for sentencing. They were each sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 4 months
Special Assessment: $100
Community Service: 100 hours
Supervised Release: 3 years
They were sentenced in connection with their guilty pleas to theft from an Indian tribal organization.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
During the early morning hours of April 15, 2010, TWO HEARTS, BEAR and MAZAWASICUNA were drinking alcohol and driving around Poplar. All three ended up at the basketball courts near the Fort Peck Community College Bookstore. TWO HEARTS climbed over the fence into the yard by the bookstore. BEAR and MAZAWASICUNA parked the car a few blocks away and walked to the bookstore.
TWO HEARTS broke into the bookstore after he climbed over the fence. He brought out merchandise which included blankets, sweatshirts, leather beaded items, knives and the cash register. He handed all of these items over the fence to BEAR and MAZAWASICUNA. TWO HEARTS then climbed back over the fence and helped load the merchandise into the car. All three males went home after approximately $6,800 in merchandise had been stolen from the Fort Peck Community College Bookstore.
An employee of the bookstore reported seeing BEAR wearing a sweatshirt that had been stolen from the store. BEAR was interviewed and stated that TWO HEARTS was already over the fence when he arrived in the bookstore area. The plan was to take as much merchandise from the bookstore as they could and then re-sell the items. BEAR took a sweatshirt, watch, and beaded items home with him. These items were recovered from BEAR and identified as stolen from the bookstore.
MAZAWASICUNA was also interviewed and the stolen merchandise was recovered from his car. He explained his car had not been working the night they stole the merchandise so he had been driving his grandmother's car instead and when he got home, he moved the stolen merchandise from his grandmother's car into his own car.
MAZAWASICUNA admitted to his participation in the theft. He stated that after it was over, he and the other two took the stolen cash register to a remote area and broke it open. However, they only found coins inside the register. They subsequently threw the cash register into the Poplar River.
When interviewed, TWO HEARTS admitted he had taken a knife and sheath which were recovered by law enforcement at his house.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that they will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, they do 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 Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division.