Home Salt Lake City Press Releases 2012 Howard Jay Bonifant Sentenced in U.S. District Court

Howard Jay Bonifant Sentenced in U.S. District Court

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 27, 2012
  • District of Montana (406) 657-6101

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings on September 27, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, Howard Jay Bonifant, a 26-year-old resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, appeared for sentencing. Bonifant was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 240 months
  • Special assessment: $100
  • Fine: $50,000
  • Supervised release: five years

Bonifant was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tara J. Elliott and Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

Beginning in October 2008 and continuing until November 2010, Bonifant conspired to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine in and around Billings and Las Vegas, Nevada.

A co-conspirator (CC #1) would have testified that between November 2008 and February 2009, s/he traveled from Las Vegas, Nevada to Billings and other locations and distributed several pounds of methamphetamine from her/his source of supply, Bonifant.

Another co-conspirator (CC #2) would have testified that between February 2009 and August 2009 s/he traveled from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Billings approximately 12 to 18 times and obtained approximately 20 ounces of methamphetamine each time (approximately 240-360 ounces total) from Bonifant for distribution.

On November 28, 2011 and January 11, 2012, law enforcement agents interviewed Bonifant. Bonifant provided details on how he began his involvement with drug trafficking in the Billings, the individuals who obtained methamphetamine from him for distribution, including drug amounts, as well as information regarding his source of supply.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Bonifant will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Bonifant does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.