Criminal Justice News

Monday, August 27, 2012

Anjel Gutierrez Aguilar and Jose Aguilar, Jr. Sentenced in U.S. District Court


The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on August 24, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, Anjel Gutierrez Aguilar, age 22, and Jose Aguilar, Jr., age 25, residents of Las Vegas, Nevada, appeared for sentencing.

Anjel Aguilar was sentenced to a term of:

■Prison: 120 months
■Special assessment: $200
■Supervised release: five years

Anjel was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to two counts of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine—the second count was from a Nevada case that was transferred to Montana.

Jose Aguilar was sentenced to a term of:

■Prison: 168 months
■Special assessment: $100
■Supervised release: five years

Jose was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Seykora, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

A drug distribution group out of Las Vegas, Nevada, was distributing methamphetamine in Billings and the surrounding area. Law enforcement began an investigation and arranged for the purchase of methamphetamine from Jose and Anjel. The officers utilized a confidential human source (CHS) to make methamphetamine purchases from Jose and Anjel, who are brothers.

The meetings and distributions were set up via recorded phone calls and discussions with Jose or Anjel during the period of the conspiracy. The undercover agent purchased or received methamphetamine from either Jose or Anjel hand-to-hand on the dates and in the amounts set forth below:

1. February 25, 2010: 12.2 grams of 82.3 percent meth or 10 grams actual meth;
2. March 3, 2010: 23 grams of 99.8 percent meth or 22.9 grams actual meth;
3. March 16, 2010: 13.8 grams of 90.4 percent meth or 12.4 grams actual meth;
4. March 25, 2010: 13.5 grams of 87.4 percent meth or 11.7 grams actual meth; and
5. April 9, 2010: 27.1 grams of 86.7 percent meth or 23.4 grams actual meth.

The undercover agent set up a meeting on March 12, 2010, with Jose to receive more methamphetamine. During the attempted purchase, Jose called the undercover agent and changed the meeting location. The undercover agent refused to change the location for safety reasons, and the purchase was not completed. Later, Jose called the undercover agent and threatened to kill him and his family for failing to follow Jose’s directions for the drug purchase.

During the period of the conspiracy, both Jose and Anjel carried or possessed firearms, including handguns and long arms. In fact, Jose published photos of himself with firearms on his Facebook page. The government obtained interviews from various individual witnesses that place both Jose and Anjel with firearms while weighing, packaging, possessing, or distributing meth.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that they will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, they do 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 Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Homeland Security Investigations, and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force.

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