Armed Career Criminal Sentenced in U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney(s Office announced that RICARDO ANDRE ROSS, 47, of Billings, was sentenced on February 20, 2014, to a term of 180 months-or 15 years in federal prison-with five years of supervised release to follow, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy.
Ross was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm. In accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1), the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), Ross was also subject to a mandatory minimum of fifteen years imprisonment because he had at least three prior serious drug or violent felony convictions.
In an Offer of Proof filed with the Court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan McCarthy advised the Court that at approximately 1:30 a.m. on September 12, 2012, an officer with the Billings Police Department was traveling westbound in his patrol vehicle on Broadwater Avenue when he observed that the 2003 Buick in front of him did not have a license plate light. The officer conducted a traffic stop and the driver of the Buick pulled the vehicle over into a nearby parking lot.
When the officer approached the driver side of the vehicle, he smelled marijuana. The officer questioned the driver, later identified as Ricardo Andre Ross. The officer ran a background check on Ross and the passenger, and discovered out that Ross was currently on state probation. The dispatcher spoke with Ross's probation officer and the probation officer consented to a search of the vehicle. Two other officers arrived to assist.
During the search, the officers recovered a Kel-Tec 9mm pistol with serial number 92378 from the driver's side door. In the center console of the vehicle, the officers recovered a Marlboro Red cigarette pack that had various items inside of it including a small bag containing a white crystalline substance which tested positive as methamphetamine. A black backpack was retrieved from the trunk of the vehicle from which officers recovered a Hi-Point, model JH, .45 caliber, semi-automatic pistol.
Ross had previously been convicted, on May 31, 1990, of a felony in the State of Virginia. That conviction prohibited him from possessing firearms, and his criminal record enhanced sentencing for that crime under the ACCA.