Heather Marie Helm Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on October 27, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, HEATHER MARIE HELM, a 28-year-old resident of Bozeman, appeared for sentencing. HELM was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 12 months and 1 day
- Special Assessment: $100
- Supervised Release: 4 years
HELM was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute five or more grams of actual methamphetamine.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
The Missouri River Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration have been investigating a methamphetamine-trafficking organization in the Bozeman area since approximately January of 2010. As the investigation unfolded, HELM's former boyfriend, Delano Marcel Sanchez, was identified as one of the primary suppliers of methamphetamine in Gallatin County. The investigation revealed that HELM and Sanchez would travel to the Spokane area to obtain methamphetamine from several different sources and then transport the drugs back to Bozeman to be distributed.
During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers monitored several controlled purchases of methamphetamine from either Sanchez or HELM. On the following dates, the case agents purchased the following amounts of actual methamphetamine from Sanchez or HELM:
• March 12, 2010, 0.56 grams;
• April 7, 2010, 1.3 grams;
• April 22, 2010, 1.1 grams;
• May 13, 2010, 1.2 grams;
• June 5, 2010, 2.3 grams;
• July 6, 2010, .92 grams;
• July 22, 2010, 2.8 grams; and
• August 4, 2010, 5.6 grams.
During the course of many of the above-referenced controlled purchases, and at other times, Sanchez or HELM made references to their sources of supply in Spokane, usually during discussions about the quality of the methamphetamine that they were obtaining and distributing.
Sanchez 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 HELM will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, HELM 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 Missouri River Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration.