Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Feds add new sentence on Velk's state sentences


September 3, 2013

A Havre man received some new prison time, this time in federal court, to go with two state sentences imposed in the last 12 months.

Joseph M. Velk, born in 1988, previously pleaded guilty in federal District Court in Great Falls to a charge of felon-in-possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen sentenced Velk to eight months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered him to forfeit the firearm involved.

Velk was charged in March 2010 with eight counts, including two felony charges, burglary and drug possession, and misdemeanor counts of theft and possession of marijuana. An initial charge of illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun was dismissed at his arraignment.

In October 2010, he pleaded guilty in a plea agreement to the charges of burglary, felony drug possession and theft and misdemeanor drug possession. The other charges were dismissed

In January 2011, state District Judge Dan Boucher sentenced Velk to five years suspended on the burglary, three years suspended on the felony drug charge and to six months suspended on each of the misdemeanors.

In August 2011, a Hill County sheriff’s deputy pulled Velk over for a traffic violation and saw empty alcohol containers, a full can of Bud Light beer, a .22 caliber Henry Repeating Arms lever action rifle and ammunition, and a dead rabbit in the vehicle. Under his conditions of release, Velk could not possess or drink alcohol or possess a firearm or ammunition.

In November 2011, Boucher revoked and reimposed the suspended sentences, also requiring Velk to spend a month in jail.

While out on that suspended sentence and while the federal gun charge was pending, Velk was charged in March 2012 with illegal possession of a prescription painkiller, a felony.

In August 2012, Boucher found Velk had violated conditions of his release and revoked the suspended sentences and sentenced him to five years with the state Department of Corrections on the burglary and three years with DOC on the drug charge, with the sentences to run at the same time.

Boucher recommended DOC screen Velk and place him in a treatment program.

Last December, Velk pleaded guilty in a plea agreement to the 2012 charge. In February of this year, Boucher sentenced Velk to five years with the DOC on that charge, to run at the same time as his previous sentence. He credited Velk with 128 days served

In the federal sentence, Christensen ordered the eight-month sentence to run at the same time as the sentence on the 2012 charges.


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