May 4, 2012 7:42 PM by Q2 Amanda Venegas
UPDATED: BILLINGS - Seven months after being found guilty of possessing and distributing cocaine in the Billings-area, a well known oral surgeon surgeon learns his fate. Friday afternoon, U.S. Chief District Judge Richard Cebull sentenced Dr. Jerome "Jerry" Mancuso to 16 months in federal prison.
Judge Cebull had some strong words for Dr. Mancuso Friday afternoon, telling him that justice is not blind and that he would be sentenced for his crime. He also told the court he was disheartened to see Mancuso not take responsibility for possessing and distributing cocaine at his home and business and realizing the risk he placed on others.
Mancuso's conviction and sentencing was part of a larger cocaine conspiracy in Billings, where Ex-Outlaws football player Shon Flores was the main distributor here in Billings and pleaded guilty to bringing 20 pounds of cocaine. Nine other people have all served or are serving time in federal prison for their involvement. On average, other defendants have or will serve an average of 14.75 months in federal prison for drug possession and distribution.
Mancuso's attorney William D'Alton argued for Mancuso to stay on home arrest and on probation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James Seykora said that there needed to be equal justice for all and that former defendants , who were found guilty, also had children at home.
During the four hour testimony, Mancuso showed little emotion, except when he spoke about spending time with his family, especially time with his 6-year-old autistic son. His wife, Natasha, was also emotional during that testimony.
Right now, Mancuso is free on bond until he commits himself to a federal prison in Northern California. Mancuso requested that he serve his time there to be close to his family. Because there is no parole in the federal system, as a convicted felon, Mancuso, will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court.
BILLINGS - A well-known Billings oral surgeon convicted of distributing and possessing cocaine has been sentenced. U.S. Chief District Judge Richard Cebull sentenced Dr. Jerome "Jerry" Mancuso to 16 months behind bars in federal prison. Mancuso appeared solemn as the sentenced was read.
The sentence came nearly seven months after a jury convicted Mancuso guilty on four out of five felony drug charges on possessing and distributing cocaine at his home and business. Mancuso's sentencing date had been delayed since January. Federal authorities had been recommending that he spend 41 to 51 months behind bars for the offense and the fact that Mancuso would not accept responsibility for the convicted crime. As a result of his conviction, Mancuso also faces forefeiting to the government $160,000 from the sale of his home, which Mancuso had argued against and felt this wife Natasha, should receive half of the proceeds.
During the four day trial, 30 witnesses came forward and testified including prisoners who had used cocaine with him and bought cocaine for him. The case stemmed from a larger cocaine ring that local, state and federal law enforcement officials were investigating. Ex-Outlaws football player Shon Flores was a main distributor in Billings and he pleaded guilty to bringing almost 20 pounds of cocaine into Montana. He received more than six years behind bars. Terra Chesarek, who testified in this case and supplied Mancuso cocaine, is serving two years in federal prison. Tim Loudan, a former friend of Mancuso's and supplier, was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison.