News and Press Releases

Donald Ray Sage Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, May 18, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on May 18, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, DONALD RAY SAGE, a 62-year-old resident of Anaconda, appeared for sentencing. SAGE was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 46 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

SAGE was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to being a felon-in-possession of firearms.

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:

In 1982, in Granite County, SAGE was convicted of mitigated deliberate homicide which therefore prohibited him from possessing firearms.

On March 20, 2011, an employee of a pawn shop in Anaconda observed SAGE carry a .380 caliber pistol into the pawn shop. The pistol was in SAGE's hand without a container or holster. The pistol had a trigger lock with two keys. SAGE read and signed the pawn slip for the transaction. SAGE acknowledged that he was the rightful owner of the pistol for four years. Later the employee identified SAGE during a photo-lineup presented by the investigating agent. The pistol was an Accu-Tek .380 caliber pistol.

The manager of the same Anaconda pawn shop also remembered SAGE and his wife. Both SAGE and his wife attempted to redeem the .380 pistol from pawn. She could not because he pawned the pistol, and he could not pass the background check. She completed the ATF Form 4473 and SAGE signed it on March 31, 2011. The transaction was denied by the NICS (National Instant Check System) on April 3, 2011. Later the manager identified SAGE during a photo-lineup presented by the investigating agent. The .380 pistol was given to law enforcement.

On April 14, 2011, law enforcement executed a search warrant at SAGE's Anaconda residence. During the search, law enforcement located a Remington .22 caliber rifle and a Stevens/Savage Arms 12 gauge shotgun in the master bedroom closet. They also located over 1,800 rounds of ammunition -- approximately 1,000 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition, and approximately 800 rounds of .380 ammunition in the back bedroom.

When questioned, SAGE acknowledged that he was previously convicted of mitigated deliberate homicide and that he was prohibited from possessing or owning firearms as a result of his felony conviction. SAGE claimed that his wife owned the firearms and ammunition located at his residence. SAGE acknowledged that he had access to the firearms and knew where they were located.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that SAGE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, SAGE 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 Anaconda-Deer Lodge Law Enforcement Agency, the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation, the Montana Department of Justice, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.



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