Joshua Lawrence Eagle Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on September 11, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JOSHUA LAWRENCE EAGLE, an 18-year-old resident of Poplar, pled guilty to burglary. Sentencing has been set for December 18, 2012. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura B. Weiss, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On January 26, 2012, EAGLE broke into his ex-girlfriend's house, which is within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, stole jewelry and an Ipod Touch, then hid in a closed-door wooden cubby beneath the bed after hearing someone arrive home.
The ex-girlfriend's father is a police officer. He had just finished qualifying for firearms when he returned to his residence. He walked by his 7-year-old daughter's room and noticed the mattress rise and fall. Thinking she clandestinely adopted a puppy in his absence, he opened the door to a storage space under the bed. Instead of a puppy he found a full-grown man hiding inside.
The ex-girlfriend's father called two law enforcement officers. They arrived and searched EAGLE, finding three rings that belonged to the wife and an Ipod Touch belonging to his daughter. The ex-girlfriend's father stated that EAGLE did not have permission to be in his home.
When interviewed, EAGLE disclosed he used his ID card to get into the back door to the house. Photographs show a broken, splintered door frame around the lock. While EAGLE claimed he initially entered the house to "get his stuff back," he admitted he began looking around and took three rings and an Ipod Touch. EAGLE stated that the Ipod Touch was not his and the ladies' rings were not his either.
EAGLE faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $50,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by the Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law & Justice.