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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

Friday, August 9, 2013

Curtis Keith Tichenor Sentenced In U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on August 9, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, CURTIS KEITH TICHENOR, a 52-year-old resident of Helena, was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 246 months, consecutive to another sentence

Special Assessment: $300

Restitution: $4,775

Forfeiture: firearms and ammunition

Supervised Release: 5 years

TICHENOR was sentenced after a federal district court trial in which he was found guilty of robbery affecting commerce, possessing and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot prosecuted the case for the United States.

At trial, the following evidence and testimony was presented to the jury.

On the morning of July 14, 2012, TICHENOR robbed the Silver Dollar Bar in Missoula. He entered the bar wearing a blue coat and a mask. He pointed a handgun at the bartender and demanded all of the money from the till. The bartender complied with TICHENOR's demand and gave him approximately $4,775.

TICHENOR left the bar and got into his blue Camaro, which was parked in an alley to the Southwest of the Silver Dollar. His girlfriend was a passenger in the car and TICHENOR told her he had just committed a robbery. He threw the gun, mask, and money into her lap. TICHENOR left Missoula by way of the Orange Street on-ramp and drove west toward Spokane on Interstate 90. Several miles outside of Missoula, he pulled over and hid the coat and mask under some bushes alongside the road.

After he hid the coat and mask, TICHENOR and his girlfriend traveled to Spokane, where they stayed for a few days. TICHENOR used money from the robbery to buy methamphetamine and heroin, which both he and his girlfriend used while they stayed at a hotel in Spokane. After spending a few days in Spokane, TICHENOR and his girlfriend returned to Helena, where both of them lived at that time.

When he got back to Helena, TICHENOR hid the remaining robbery proceeds at his brother's residence. After TICHENOR was arrested in Helena on July 23, 2012, he asked his brother to retrieve the money, give some to his girlfriend, and put some on his books at the Helena jail.

On July 23, 2012, TICHENOR and his girlfriend were arrested outside a hotel in Helena. TICHENOR was in possession of a firearm, which witnesses identified as the same gun used during the robbery of the Silver Dollar Bar nine days earlier.

In late October 2012, information on TICHENOR was provided to law enforcement officers about the robbery in Missoula. Based on that information, the officers were able to find the coat and mask that TICHENOR had hidden after the robbery along I-90 west of Missoula. The bartender from the Silver Dollar Bar identified the coat and mask as the items worn by the perpetrator of the robbery. The bartender also identified the gun seized from TICHENOR following his arrest in Helena on July 23, 2012, as the gun used during the robbery. The firearm was a entury Arms, model P-64, 9 mm handgun.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that TICHENOR will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, TICHENOR does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Missoula Police Department, the Helena Police Department, the Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Montana Regional Violent Crime Task. Force investigation.

Updated January 14, 2015