Curtis Donald Cline Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on December 20, 2011, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, CURTIS DONALD CLINE, a 25-year-old resident of Helena, appeared for sentencing. CLINE was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 24 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 3 years
CLINE was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to theft from a federal firearms licensee.
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:
From December 2010 to June 2011, CLINE was employed at Bob Ward & Sons in Helena.
Bob Ward & Sons is a business licensed to engage in dealing in firearms. On June 15, 2011, Bob Ward & Sons conducted its semi-annual inventory. During that inventory, eight handguns were discovered missing from its inventory. Personnel notified law enforcement of the missing handguns.
On June 28, 2011, CLINE was interviewed by law enforcement and admitted to taking the eight handguns from Bob Wards while he worked there. Specifically, CLINE viewed a list of missing firearms from Bob Ward & Sons where he admitted to taking all of the pistols on the list. At that time, law enforcement recovered three handguns and CLINE identified people to whom he sold the other handguns.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that CLINE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, CLINE 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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Helena Police Department, and the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office.