News and Press Releases

James Summers Bennett Sentenced in U.S. District Court

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on August 1, 2012, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, JAMES SUMMERS BENNETT, a 33-year-old resident of Bozeman, appeared for sentencing. BENNETT was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 60 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 3 years

BENNETT 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 Tara J. Elliott, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On November 6, 2010, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks game wardens spotted BENNETT standing next to a blue Chevrolet Suburban parked near the Missouri River in McCone County. The game wardens stopped to investigate. In the passenger seat of the vehicle, they discovered J.Y., who showed signs of extensive physical abuse. BENNETT admitted to assaulting J.Y. while BENNETT was driving the vehicle from Wolf Point. The game wardens then handcuffed BENNETT and placed him in custody.

Upon searching the vehicle, the game wardens discovered a DPMS Model AR-15, .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle. BENNETT later admitted to possessing the firearm.

BENNETT had been convicted in 2003 of two federal felony offenses, interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle, and larceny, thereby prohibiting him from possessing firearms.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that BENNETT will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, BENNETT 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 Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.



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