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Press Release

Wamblee Tonka Rowland 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 Billings, on May 23, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, WAMBLEE TONKA ROWLAND, a 34-year-old resident of Lame Deer and an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 24 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 3 years

ROWLAND was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to assault with a dangerous weapon.

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

On July 16, 2012, the victim was at her home in Lame Deer, which is within the boundaries of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. ROWLAND and the victim got into a verbal argument that escalated to the point where ROWLAND threw rocks at her. ROWLAND threatened to kill the victim and told her that he was going to get his gun. ROWLAND then walked to his house, in the same neighborhood, and retrieved a shot gun. He loaded the gun with shells, walked toward the victim, and confronted her with the gun. He cocked the gun and pointed it at her. The victim retreated into her residence but, once inside, remembered that her children were outside and went back out to retrieve her kids. The victim was afraid that ROWLAND would shoot her in front of her kids.

ROWLAND's common law wife was outside of ROWLAND's house and witnessed the altercation with the victim. She tried to calm ROWLAND down, but ROWLAND's response was to point the gun at her. When interviewed, though, ROWLAND's common-law wife said that she was not afraid because the gun was not operational and she believed that she could calm ROWLAND down.

The police were called by neighbors who also witnessed the altercation. ROWLAND retreated into his house, hid the shotgun, and then hid under a table. He was arrested while trying to hide. He had shells in his pocket. The shot gun was seized.

Law enforcement test fired the shotgun and confirmed that it is operational.

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

Updated January 14, 2015