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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Four Defendants Sentenced to Prison in Missoula Carjacking Case

MISSOULA - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today the sentencing results of four individuals for conspiracy to commit robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and other crimes. On or around May 27, 2016, in Missoula County, Thomas Earl Dempsey, Nick West, Carissa Lynn Kopp, and Hannah Nichole Parker robbed Deano’s General Store in Missoula. Kopp and Parker drove the “getaway” car, while Demspey and West entered the store and demanded money at gunpoint. They robbed Deano’s of $3,200. Meanwhile, Kopp and Parker had driven away and left Dempsey and West stranded. Dempsey and West hijacked the car of a family in the parking lot, as a member of that family was describing the heist to 911 Dispatch.

 

With the kidnapped family still in the car, Dempsey and West led the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office and Missoula Police Department on a high-speed chase. There were five victims in the car with the kidnappers, including a mother, father, grandmother, and two children. During the chase, Dempsey fired at the police. Eventually Dempsey and West stopped the car and ran. They were arrested a short time later.

 

Today, Dempsey was sentenced to 312 months in prison followed by 5 years supervised release for his plea of guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery affecting commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), carjacking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2119, kidnapping in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1), and possessing and discharging of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(iii).

 

West was sentenced to 180 months in prison followed by 5 years supervised release for his plea of guilty to the crimes of conspiracy to commit robbery affecting commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), carjacking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2119, and possessing and brandishing of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii).

 

Kopp was sentenced to 108 months in prison followed by 3 years supervised release for the crime of conspiracy to commit robbery affecting commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a).

 

Parker was sentenced to 60 months in prison followed by 3 years supervised release for the crime of conspiracy to commit robbery affecting commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a).

 

Chief Judge Dana L. Christensen handed down the sentences in Missoula. Additionally, the defendants were jointly ordered to pay $14,891.98 in restitution.

 

United States Attorney Michael W. Cotter stated, “I want to thank all members of the task force, the federal agents and local law enforcement for their quick thinking and extraordinary efforts in apprehending these dangerous criminals, and ensuring that no further injuries occurred. The United States Attorney’s Office looks forward to a continued partnership with all of the state and local law enforcement agencies that support and participate on the Montana Regional violent Crime Task Force.”

 

FBI Special Agent Monte Shaide added, “This case is a result of the diligence of investigators and demonstrates the effectiveness of the Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force. The FBI takes pride in our valuable partnerships with local law enforcement, who all work tirelessly to maintain the safety of our communities.”

The case was investigated by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, the Missoula City Police Department, and the FBI’s Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force which consists of the agencies previously mentioned as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, and Montana Department of Corrections Probation and Parole, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tara Elliott.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
KERI LEGGETT, Acting Public Information Officer, (406) 761-7715
Updated February 9, 2017