Sheila C. Coffman Sentenced in U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on September 26, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, SHEILA C. COFFMAN, a 47-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. COFFMAN was sentenced to a term of:
Special Assessment: $
Supervised Release: years
COFFMAN was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
An individual came to the attention of law enforcement officers as part of a large investigation involving drugs. The individual was identified as a person who brought large amounts of methamphetamine to Billings from Las Vegas on behalf of a supplier, Howard Bonifant, for distribution to Bonifant's distributor network here. Antonio Taylor was arrested in Billings and later provided information that led to the discovery of the individual and his role in the operation as a courier between Vegas and Billings. The individual was interviewed by agents in November 2011, and confessed that he had been recruited by Howard Bonifant in 2010 to transport methamphetamine from Las Vegas to Billings. After transporting it, the individual would stay in Billings and assist in its distribution to Bonifant's next level of distributors, and then would transport the drug proceeds via Greyhound bus back to Las Vegas where he would give the proceeds to Bonifant. The individual confirmed that he worked with Antonio Taylor and another individual. The three men took turns traveling to Billings with methamphetamine and returning with the money. They would each bring up pounds at a time. The individual confirmed that COFFMAN was one of the largest Billings customers.
COFFMAN had already been identified by another individual who would have testified that she had been introduced to Bonifant and another supplier by COFFMAN who had been her supplier. COFFMAN was involved in 2009 and through June of 2010, when she moved out of state. COFFMAN was also identified by Antonio Taylor as one of the biggest customers when he distributed. Howard Bonifant also told law enforcement that COFFMAN was one of his biggest customers, along with several others.
Bonifant and Taylor pled guilty to federal charges and have been sentenced.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that COFFMAN will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, COFFMAN 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 Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Billings Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.