Fredrick William Waelti Sentenced in U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on June 28, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, FREDRICK WILLIAM WAELTI, a 64-year-old resident of Whitehall, appeared for sentencing. WAELTI was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 24 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 3 years
WAELTI was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm.
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 1983, WAELTI was convicted of felony theft of government property in Nevada, which thereby prohibited him from possessing firearms. In 2002, he was convicted in Montana of being a felon-in-possession of firearms.
On May 4, 2011, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF") executed a search warrant and recovered fifty-seven firearms and over 6,800 rounds of ammunition from WAELTI's residence in Whitehall. Forty-four of the fifty-seven firearms recovered by ATF on May 4, 2011, were involved in WAELTI's 2002 prosecution. The 44 firearms were returned to Mrs. Waelti as they were collector/heirloom-type firearms. Both Waeltis signed an acknowledgment that the firearms were to be kept in a storage shed and away from the residence as well as from Fredrick as a convicted felon.
After execution of the search warrant, Fredrick told ATF agents, as well as other law enforcement officers, that he would shoot at animals on their property.
Law enforcement began the current firearms investigation after WAELTI's neighbors called complaining that Fredrick was shooting at them or their animals.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that WAELTI will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, WAELTI 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.