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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fabio Noel-Rodriguez Sentenced In U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on June 19, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, FABIO NOEL-RODRIGUEZ, age 37, was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 148 months

Special Assessment: $ 100

Supervised Release: 5 years

NOEL-RODRIGUEZ was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On the evening of January 24, 2011, the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) received a phone call from a desk clerk at a hotel in Lockwood. The desk clerk told law enforcement that a man and woman had just checked into the motel using a stolen driver's license. In a twist of fate, only possible in a state like Montana, the desk clerk was a friend of the woman whose identification was stolen earlier on the same day and recognized the license immediately when it was presented by the female upon check in.

Deputies were sent to the motel and spoke with the desk clerk. The desk clerk provided law enforcement with a copy of the Wyoming ID card used for check-in. The desk clerk also provided law enforcement with a copy of the room registration receipt that showed the vehicle listed as belonging to the male and female that rented the room. The vehicle was listed as having a Florida license plate.

A deputy went to the parking lot and drove through it looking for a Florida license plate. As he approached the rear of the motel the deputy saw a vehicle with a Florida license plate beginning to leave the motel parking lot. There were no other vehicles in the motel parking lot with a Florida license plate. The vehicle was pulled over.

The driver of the car was identified as NOEL-RODRIGUEZ. The passenger was identified as Michelle Steinfeldt. NOEL-RODRIGUEZ was arrested for driving without a driver's license. The car was secured and later a drug sniffing K9 was run around the car. The dog alerted for the odor of narcotics. A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle. Law enforcement found four cellular telephones, two packages containing 266.4 grams of pure methamphetamine, $3,909 in cash, a digital scale with methamphetamine residue, ziploc bags, and a lap top. The cash, the drugs and the digital scale were found in a hidden, false compartment in the vehicle.

Steinfeldt pled guilty to federal charges and has been sentenced.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that NOEL-RODRIGUEZ will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, NOEL-RODRIGUEZ 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.

Updated January 14, 2015