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Justice News

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Joseph Pretty On Top Sentenced In U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on January 23, 2013, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, JOSEPH PRETTY ON TOP, a 49-year-old resident of Lodge Grass, appeared for sentencing. PRETTY ON TOP was sentenced to a term of:

Probation: 3 years

Special Assessment: $300

Restitution: $3,324

PRETTY ON TOP was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to theft by an employee of an Indian gaming establishment and theft by employee of an Indian casino.

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

On April 11, 2012, an investigation was opened after allegations that approximately $3,000 was stolen from the gaming machines at the Absaalooka Nights Casino at Crow Agency. The investigation revealed that PRETTY ON TOP, a security guard for the Absaalooka Nights Casino, had turned off the surveillance cameras to an area of the casino and, without authorization, took money out of the gaming machines in that area. PRETTY ON TOP took $681 on 3/18/2012; $1,132 on 3/20/2012; and $1,511 on 3/22/2012, for a total of $3,324. When interviewed by law enforcement, PRETTY ON TOP admitted to taking the money. Also, part of the thefts were caught on other surveillance videos.

The Absaalooka Nights Casino is a gaming establishment operated by and for, and licensed by, the Crow Tribe pursuant to an ordinance approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that PRETTY ON TOP will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, PRETTY ON TOP 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 Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Updated January 14, 2015