Fort Peck Tribal Officer Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Drug Evidence
GREAT FALLS - The United States Attorney’s Office announced that former Fort Peck Tribal Officer Mikkel Derrik Shields was sentenced to one year in prison, one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,149.06 in restitution. The sentencing occurred on June 28, 2018, before U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, in Great Falls, Montana.
In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon, the government explained that Officer Shields, while on duty, broke into the evidence room at the Fort Peck Tribal Law and Justice Building. While there, Officer Shields stole drug evidence, including methamphetamine, prescription drugs, marijuana, and money. When interviewed, Officer Shields admitted he indeed took the drugs because he “just needed them” and he was a “weak person.” As a result of Shields’ actions, the Fort Peck Tribe was forced to dismiss 27 criminal cases, including other drug cases, assaults, and property crimes.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Because there is no parole in the federal system, the truth in sentencing guidelines mandate that Shields will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Shie.ds does have the opportunity to shorten the term of custody by earning credit for good behavior. However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.