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Justice News

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

Monday, November 18, 2013

Joshua Tyler Apland Sentenced In U.S. Federal Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on November 18, 2013, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, JOSHUA TYLER APLAND, a 21-year-old resident of Minot, North Dakota, was sentenced to a term of:

  • ison: 100 months
  • ecial Assessment: $200
  • pervised Release: 5 years

APLAND was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon-in-possession of a firearm.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael S. Lahr and Zeno B. Baucus, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On February 1, 2011, APLAND was convicted of an offense punishable by more than one year imprisonment in the state of North Dakota, therefore prohibiting him from possessing firearms.

In September 2012, members of the Missouri River Drug Task Force (MRDTF) investigated APLAND, X.X., Z.Z. and others for conspiring to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute in Helena as well as in other locations in Montana. As part of that investigation, on September 13, 2012, a Montana Division of Criminal Investigation (MDCI) agent learned that APLAND was in Helena. The agent also learned that APLAND was the subject of an arrest warrant for failing to comply with the terms of his probationary sentence in North Dakota.

On September 19, 2012, members of the MRDTF learned APLAND, X.X., and Z.Z. were staying at a residence in Helena. Agents then contacted the owner of the residence who confirmed APLAND, X.X., and Z.Z. were staying at the residence and were armed with handguns and a shotgun.

Later, on September 19, 2012, agents went to the residence and placed it under surveillance. Still later on the same day, APLAND left the residence in a vehicle. X.X. and Z.Z. left the residence in another vehicle;

A uniformed officer driving a patrol car attempted to stop the vehicle driven by APLAND. APLAND fled from the officer. Along the way, he threw a Weatherby, model PA-459, 12 gauge shotgun out of the vehicle. Law enforcement officials recovered that firearm. APLAND also disposed of a Smith and Wesson, model SW40VE, .40 caliber, semiautomatic pistol during the course of the pursuit. On September 20, 2012, law enforcement recovered that firearm near a stretch of the same road.

APLAND was ultimately arrested at a bar in Lincoln on September 19, 2012;

Members of the MRDTF interviewed APLAND following his arrest. APLAND admitted that he possessed the shotgun and pistol and that he threw the shotgun while being pursued by the patrol car.

APLAND admitted that, during the time period of the conspiracy, he, X.X., Z.Z., and Y.Y. traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah on multiple occasions. APLAND stated that during those trips they obtained a total of approximately 25 ounces of methamphetamine for distribution. APLAND stated that Y.Y. financed most the purchases of methamphetamine and received much of the methamphetamine obtained in Salt Lake City.

APLAND stated that he or other members of the conspiracy, including X.X., Z.Z., and Y.Y., then distributed the methamphetamine in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. APLAND stated that he distributed some of the methamphetamine to Y.Y. in a meeting that occurred in Helena during the course of the conspiracy.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that APLAND will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, APLAND 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 a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.

Updated January 14, 2015