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Justice News

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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dustin Berg Panian Sentenced In U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on November 26, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, DUSTIN BERG PANIAN, a 25-year-old resident of Missoula, was sentenced to a term of:

  • ison: 12 months and 1 day
  • ecial Assessment: $100
  • pervised Release: 5 years

PANIAN was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin.

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

Beginning in approximately the spring of 2011 and continuing through February of 2013, PANIAN, Mackenzie Richard Keene Joiner, and Austin Leo Timothy Hagman distributed cocaine throughout the Missoula area. A CI (CI 1) would have testified that each defendant received more than 500 grams of cocaine from him/her during this period for redistribution in Missoula. A second CI (CI 2) would have testified and confirmed this information.

Finally, a third CI (CI 3) would have testified to receiving narcotics from Joiner and would have further testified that s/he knew that Joiner and Hagman worked together and that they and PANIAN received their drugs from CI 1.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that he 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% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated January 14, 2015