Keith Arnold Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on October 26, 2011, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, KEITH ARNOLD, a 39-year-old resident of Miles City, appeared for sentencing. ARNOLD was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 42 months
- Special Assessment: $100
- Supervised Release: 8 years
ARNOLD 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:
Over a several year period, the Eastern Montana Drug Task Force (EMDTF) received numerous complaints from concerned citizens that drug activity was taking place at a residence in Miles City. Complaints detailed short term traffic and hand-to-hand exchanges of drugs in the alley next to the property.
In February of 2009, information was received there was possible drug activity at the ARNOLD residence in Miles City.
During the same time frame, the EMDTF received information from a concerned citizen that ARNOLD was making trips between Billings and Miles City to traffic drugs.
On April 28, 2009, law enforcement was advised that ARNOLD's vehicle was seen at a residence in Billings that was under investigation for distribution of methamphetamine.
On July 23, 2009, the Miles City Police Dispatch operator received a phone call from a concerned neighbor stating they believed methamphetamine was being manufactured on the property.
On July 28, 2009, the EMDTF conducted a trash pull at ARNOLD's residence in Miles City and located approximately eleven glass pipes commonly used to ingest dangerous drugs with a white powder substance inside of them, one light bulb modified as a smoking pipe to allow the ingestion of dangerous drugs with a white residue inside of it (a field narcotics test on the light bulb pipe tested positive for methamphetamine), approximately twenty-three small jewelry size Ziploc bags which contained a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and a white powder believed to be methamphetamine, and a broken digital scale.
On August 3, 2009, a search warrant for ARNOLD's residence was executed. In the basement of the residence, ARNOLD showed agents numerous bags of a white powdery substance he identified as methamphetamine as well as numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia.
Agents seized 95 grams of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, and testing at the DEA lab found it to be 24.7% pure or 23.4 grams of actual meth. Additional drug exhibits and paraphernalia were seized that contained methamphetamine, as well as approximately $2,450 in cash and a scale.
On August 23, 2009, ARNOLD provided a tape recorded confession in which he admitted to possessing the methamphetamine to smoke, use, and sell.
When ARNOLD's source of supply was questioned, the source indicated that 12 ounces (340.2 grams) of meth had been delivered to ARNOLD on August 3, 2009, or shortly before, and that the 95 grams seized by agents on August 3, 2009, represented what was left of the 12 ounces that ARNOLD had received for distribution.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that ARNOLD will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, ARNOLD 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 Drug Enforcement Administration and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.