Jesse David Leland 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, JESSE DAVID LELAND, a 28-year-old resident of Helena, appeared for sentencing. LELAND 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
LELAND was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to manufacture of marijuana. The government stated it would have proved at trial the following: From the fall of 2009 until March 14, 2011, LELAND and his co-defendants grew marijuana in Helena.
During July 2010, law enforcement counted more than 750 marijuana plants grown by LELAND and his co-defendants at their marijuana grow site located north of Helena. The 750 count did not include approximately 350 marijuana clones.
On March 14, 2011, law enforcement executed a search warrant regarding LELAND’s marijuana cultivation. At that time, there were no live marijuana plants at the marijuana grow location north of Helena. However law enforcement did remove marijuana and marijuana products from LELAND’s the site.
The Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory tested some of the substances and confirmed that items seized did contain marijuana.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that LELAND will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, LELAND does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.
Assistants U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart, Jessica T. Fehr, and Michael T. Wolfe prosecuted the case.
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.