Ronald Charles Peppers Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on November 8, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, RONALD CHARLES PEPPERS, a 35-year-old resident of the Blackfeet Reservation, appeared for sentencing. PEPPERS was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 30 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 3 years
PEPPERS was sentenced after a federal district court trial in which he was found guilty of assault of a federal officer.
At trial, the following evidence and testimony was presented to the jury.
In October 2010, Blackfeet law enforcement went to PEPPER's mother's trailer in Blackfoot, a community northwest of Browning, to investigate allegations of domestic violence but could not raise anyone to answer the door. As they returned toward Browning they spotted his mother's vehicle and made contact with her. She advised that PEPPERS was in the trailer. She gave the officers permission to enter the trailer and advised them that if the door was locked where they could find a spare key. She also advised that she did have a shotgun on the premises which she kept unloaded, under her bed.
Officers returned to the trailer where they found the door unlocked and entered the residence. Officers found PEPPERS sleeping on a couch with a loaded shotgun on the coffee table next to the sofa. They placed PEPPERS under arrest. As he was being searched for other weapons and contraband, PEPPERS bit the FBI agent who was arresting PEPPERS, handcuffing him, and taking him into custody.
The incident took place within the exterior boundaries of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley prosecuted the case for the United States.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that PEPPERS will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, PEPPERS 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, the Blackfeet Criminal Investigation Division, and Glacier County Sheriff's Office.