Dale Martin Lopera, Jr. Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on November 18, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, DALE MARTIN LOPERA, JR., a 30-year-old resident of Kalispell, appeared for sentencing. LOPERA was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 15 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 3 years
LOPERA was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to making a false statement during a firearm transaction.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On December 23, 2010, LOPERA attempted to purchase a Hi-Point 9mm pistol from a business in Kalispell. During his attempt to purchase the pistol, LOPERA lied on the ATF Form 4473 that he had not been previously convicted of a felony offense.
However, in March 2008, LOPERA had been sentenced to 180 days in jail and 5 years probation for felony child abuse in California.
When interviewed, LOPERA admitted to being a convicted felon from California. LOPERA also admitted that he filled out the ATF Form 4473 to see what would happen and that he lied on the form.
The employee who waited on LOPERA on December 23, 2010, would have testified that he observed LOPERA fill out the ATF Form 4473. With LOPERA's answers on the form, the employee called the National Instant Check System to see if he could sell LOPERA the firearm. The denial from the check system is the only reason why the employee did not sell LOPERA the firearm.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that LOPERA will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, LOPERA 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 conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.