News and Press Releases

Eric Stephen Hadnott Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, March 16, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on March 15, 2012, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, ERIC STEPHEN HADNOTT, a 32-year-old resident of Great Falls, appeared for sentencing. HADNOTT was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 37 months, consecutive to all other sentences

Special Assessment: $100

Forfeiture: handgun

Supervised Release: 3 years

HADNOTT was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm and ammunition.

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:

HADNOTT was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition after having been convicted of felonies in both federal and state courts.

On September 14, 2011, a Helena police officer was at a motel room on a bad check issue earlier in the day with HADNOTT and his girlfriend. The officer ran their car's license plate which came back as expired. The officer stopped the vehicle later the same afternoon after observing HADNOTT and his girlfriend driving the vehicle.

When the officer ran HADNOTT's criminal history, the officer learned that HADNOTT was outside of Cascade County without his probation officer's approval. The probation officer asked the officer and other members of the Helena Police Department to search HADNOTT's vehicle and motel room. HADNOTT also told the officer that there was a gun in the car. The officer located a .25 caliber pistol from the center console. The pistol was loaded but there was not a round in the chamber. The pistol was a Phoenix Arms Company .25 caliber pistol and the ammunition consisted of four rounds of .25 caliber ammunition. At the time, HADNOTT and his girlfriend also possessed methamphetamine and a synthetic drug commonly referred to as "meow."

HADNOTT's girlfriend told the officers that she was with HADNOTT on September 13 and 14, 2011 during their travel from Great Falls to Butte and then Helena. She further stated that HADNOTT was in possession of the pistol the entire trip.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that HADNOTT will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, HADNOTT 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 Helena Police Department, Montana Probation and Parole, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.



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