Arbonnie Ellen Seal Sentenced in U.S. District Court
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 03, 2013|
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on April 3, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, Arbonnie Ellen Seal, a 50-year-old resident of Billings, was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 18 months
- Special assessment: $200
- Supervised release: four years
Seal was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.
In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
Seal and another individual came to the attention of law enforcement in Billings when a confidential informant contacted the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force in May 2011 and reported that he/she had been obtaining methamphetamine for the past eight weeks from an individual and redistributing it to the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. The CI reported that he/she got eight balls, then half-ounces, then ounces from the individual and would then return to the reservation, break down the methamphetamine into smaller amounts, and redistribute it. The CI brought back one pound of methamphetamine from Washington to the individual in Montana.
A second CI agreed to purchase methamphetamine from Seal in late August 2011. The CI had been purchasing methamphetamine in the amount of a quarter gram a day for the last three months from Seal. The CI went to Seal’s house on August 24, but she was not home. The CI texted Seal and asked where she was, Seal replied that she was at the other individual’s home. Law enforcement believed that the individual was Seal’s source of supply and that Seal had just purchased methamphetamine from the individual to sell to the CI. Seal was stopped in her car for talking on a cell phone and speeding and ultimately consented to a search of her car. There were 14.3 grams of methamphetamine found that Seal had just purchased from the individual and numerous items of drug paraphernalia. Seal admitted that she had been getting methamphetamine for redistribution from the individual.
Seal and the individual conspired to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine. The individual distributed methamphetamine to Seal on August 24, and Seal possessed it with the intent to distribute it to the CI.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Seal will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Seal 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 conducted by the Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.