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Press Release

Mark Kness Sentenced In U.S. District Court

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on March 18, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, MARK KNESS, a 54-year-old resident of Great Falls, appeared for sentencing. KNESS was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 172 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 5 years

KNESS was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

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

In July 2012, detectives from the Great Falls Police Department became alerted to a potential methamphetamine distribution ring in Great Falls. Detectives believed the methamphetamine was being brought to Montana from somewhere near Spokane, Washington.

On September 6, 2012, police received information from an anonymous caller, who stated Linda Reynolds was dealing methamphetamine out of her apartment in Great Falls. Based on this information, police executed a search warrant at Reynolds' apartment. Law enforcement learned Reynolds obtained methamphetamine from Joe and Ann Wetzel, as well as KNESS.

According to Reynolds, KNESS brought his drug dealer, Louis Kanyid, to Reynolds's apartment in the winter of 2012. Kanyid regularly went by "Washington" in Great Falls, because he traveled from the state of Washington. Reynolds observed methamphetamine deals between KNESS and Kanyid, and KNESS would brag about how the methamphetamine was of great quality. KNESS also introduced Joe and Ann Wetzel to Kanyid in the summer of 2012. KNESS routinely met with Kanyid to obtain methamphetamine. He then sold the methamphetamine to Joe and Ann Wetzel, as well as other people throughout Great Falls. Law enforcement seized over 50 grams of actual (pure) methamphetamine in their investigation.

Reynolds, Kanyid, and Joe and Ann Wetzel pled guilty to federal charges.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that KNESS will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, KNESS 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 Russell County Drug Task Force.

Updated January 14, 2015