Jason David Burns Sentenced in U.S. District Court
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 16, 2011|
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena on December 15, 2011, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, JASON DAVID BURNS, a 40-year-old resident of Helena, appeared for sentencing. BURNS was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 12 months
- Special Assessment: $100
- Forfeiture: $454,666 cash payment in lieu of forfeiture; a Mercedes; $7,135 in cash; and $2,829.76 in bank accounts
- Supervised Release: four years
BURNS was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to manufacture of marijuana and money laundering.
The government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
From the fall of 2009 until March 14, 2011, BURNS grew marijuana in Helena with his co-defendants.
During July 2010, law enforcement counted more than 750 marijuana plants grown by BURNS and his co-defendants at their marijuana grow site located north of Helena. The 750 count did not include approximately 350 marijuana clones.
During the investigation, law enforcement determined that BURNS and his co-conspirators obtained money from the sale of marijuana. BURNS had a bank account at Mountain West Bank. BURNS knew the money was from the sale of marijuana. BURNS deposited the money made from the sale of the marijuana into the bank account at Mountain West Bank. BURNS then used the money he deposited from marijuana sales to promote the continuing marijuana grow as well as a marijuana distribution center in Helena.
On March 14, 2011, law enforcement executed a search warrant regarding BURNS’ marijuana cultivation. At that time, there were no live marijuana plants at the marijuana grow location north of Helena.
Law enforcement did remove marijuana and marijuana products from BURNS’ marijuana distribution site in Helena on March 14, 2011.
The DEA laboratory tested some of the substances recovered from this investigation. The result of the testing was that the DEA laboratory confirmed that items seized from BURNS on March 14, 2011, did contain marijuana.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that BURNS will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, BURNS does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paulette L. Stewart, Jessica T. Fehr, and Michael T. Wolfe are prosecuting the case for the government.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the following federal, state and local law enforcement agencies: the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigation Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. These federal agencies were assisted by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigations, and local High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task forces, the Central Montana Drug Task Force, the Missouri River Drug Task Force, the Helena Police Department, and the Lewis & Clark Sheriff’s Office.