The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls on June 25, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, Sage Ferguson, a 18-year-old resident of Rocky Boy and an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree Indian Tribe, appeared for sentencing. Ferguson was sentenced to a term of:
■Prison: 33 months
■Special assessment: $100
■Supervised release: three years
Ferguson was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Danna R. Jackson, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On August 28, 2011, while intoxicated, Ferguson crashed a truck within the exterior boundaries of the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.
As a result of the crash, a passenger was injured. The passenger was diagnosed with a thoracic fracture and is paralyzed from the waist down.
A witness would have testified that in advance of the crash, Ferguson had been driving recklessly. Specifically, a witness stated that he was “fishtailing” and had been urged not to drive because of his intoxicated state.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Ferguson will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Ferguson 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, the Montana Highway Patrol, and Rocky Boy’s Law Enforcement.