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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Montana

For Immediate Release

October 11, 2012

Michael W. Cotter, United States Attorney

Contact: Jessica T. Fehr
(406) 247-4637


The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on June 29, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, ANTHONY ALEX ROLL, a 27-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. ROLL was
sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 170 months
  • Special Assessment: $600
  • SSupervised Release: 5 years

ROLL was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to (1) count of conspiracy to commit robbery affecting commerce, (1) count of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and (3) counts of being a felon-in-possession of a firearm.

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

On January 12, 2007, and February 6, 2009, in Washington, ROLL was convicted of felony charges. As such, he was prohibited from being in possession of firearms.

ROLL first met with undercover agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("UC 1" and "UC 2") in 2010 when he sold them Ecstasy in Billings. He resurfaced in 2011 and began regularly selling them firearms, the majority of which were

On August 9, 2011, ROLL expressed an interest in helping the undercover agent with his illicit business transactions. That conversation took place during a meeting when ROLL sold the undercover agent a firearm for which he had been previously indicted.

In 2011, the ATF undercover agents met with RD, a person who had expressed an interest in a possible drug robbery. XX had discussions with the undercover agents about the possibility of bringing ROLL into the robbery crew. ROLL accompanied XX when he met
with the undercover agents on November 16, 2011, in Billings. XX, ROLL, and several others were part of the crew and at the meeting. XX, ROLL, and the others were introduced to UC 3 who purported to be a disgruntled drug courier. UC 3 advised them that on past
occasions, UC 3 had observed between 50 and 70 kilograms of cocaine at the residences used by this drug trafficking organization to store narcotics. Furthermore, UC 3 informed them that on such occasions, three individuals have been present and have been observed
with firearms during the transfer of cocaine. There was more discussion of killing people at the stash house and all parties were given multiple opportunities to opt out of their plans. UC 3 said he didn't want to make anyone do something they didn't want to do. ROLL
interjected that he thought he might know the people who were bringing the narcotics to Billings, and ROLL and XX asked several specific questions about the setup of the stash house. The meeting was terminated upon an agreement by all parties present to meet again on an unspecific date.

On November 24, 2011, XX was arrested by the Billings Police Department on an outstanding warrant. In addition, he had a small amount of methamphetamine on his person and thus he was no longer part of the crew.

UC 1 had text and phone contact with ROLL on November 25 regarding XX's arrest. On November 26, UC 1 had contact with ROLL, where ROLL indicated that he and another person were going to meet up about the robbery.

On November 24, 2011, XX was arrested by the Billings Police Department on an outstanding warrant. In addition, he had a small amount of methamphetamine on his person and thus he was no longer part of the crew.

On November 28, 2011, ROLL met the undercover agents at the location and sold them a Remington model 870 Wingmaster 12 gauge pump-action shotgun. He was accompanied by several new people. UC 1 asked ROLL if XX had been hitting anyone, as in home invasions. ROLL replied that XX "ain't done nothin', I'm the one that's been hitting everybody." ROLL then told UC 1 about a home invasion that he and one of the others present had just done, in which that person and a girl had also beaten a person in the house for drugs. ROLL said that XX was in the residence during that home invasion as well. ROLL talked about previously being part of XX's crew, and reported that he would "do anything as long as the pay is right." Referring to the original home invasion robbery, ROLL said he planned to bring one of his own guys along because he didn't trust XX not to kill him. UC 1 discussed a possible new robbery opportunity with ROLL and the two people with him for a courier with money, not drugs. ROLL quickly noted that while no drugs would be there, money would be and that he liked it better because "the risk ain't as bad." ROLL reported he had "done the math" on the first deal and thought it could have been 2.2 million dollars. UC 1 said this was more like $20,000 and ROLL said that $5,000 was more than he had
yesterday. ROLL said he'd rather "get money than birds (dope) anyway." UC 1 asked if ROLL was down with the deal, and ROLL said "I'm for it, I'm all for it." Later, ROLL said about his "team", if "I have to question them, they might as well be in the river." UC 1 asked if the crew was still just thinking about the deal, and he'd call.

On November 29, 2011, ROLL met the undercover agents at the location and sold them 2 firearms, a Ruger, New Model Blackhawk .357 caliber revolver (serial number 37-31269) and a Hi Point, model CF380, .380 semi-automatic pistol (serial number P8047812). He was accompanied by one of the same people, who also had two additional handguns, one in each pocket. ROLL admitted that the group had just beaten a person at an undisclosed location. UC 1 provided them with more details about the possible robbery. UC 3 was also present and advised that he had a person from Chicago coming to Billings for the purpose of purchasing 4 kilograms of cocaine. UC 3 stated that the individual would have the money for 2 kilograms and be fronted the rest. UC 3 thought the person would have between $20,000 and $40,000 in cash. UC 3 stated that the person was a large muscle bound person, and the other person asked "is he strapped or what?" inquiring about if he would be carrying a firearm. UC 3 said he would be. UC 1 asked both if they were ready for it tomorrow, and ROLL replied, "hell yeah, I need this." UC 1 advised that the money was drug proceeds. The group agreed to meet the following day.

Later that night, UC 1 called ROLL to finalize the meet time. ROLL claimed that they were driving around town looking for the truck that the courier was coming in. ROLL claimed that it would be easier that way. He asked UC 1 if it would just be easier to make the vehicle disappear, implying that the money was probably inside, but ROLL finally agreed to wait until the following day.

On November 30, 2011, ROLL, and the other two met with UC 1 at the same location. During that meeting, UC 1 confirmed that all three were still planning to do the robbery and received confirmation from each that they were going to participate. One of the men already had a bandana covering his face during the meeting. ROLL was armed with two pistols, a Sterling model 302 .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and a pink Sig Sauer model mosquito .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol. One man was armed with a Kel Tec 9 mm pistol and a knife. The third was armed with a butterfly knife. UC 1 observed ROLL holding the two guns in his hands and asked if he was going to have the guns out when the courier got there, and ROLL put the guns in the front pocket of his hoodie. ROLL said the plan was to abduct the courier, drive him out in the middle of nowhere, take his phone, and thus it would be a long time before he could report anything. ROLL saw there was duct tape on the counter and mentioned they could use that and UC 1 said that he could. ROLL also said he was going to take the courier's pickup. ROLL was wearing a bandana around his neck and was wearing gloves when he showed up. When UC 1 left the room, ROLL and the other two were arrested by ATF agents. ROLL was non-compliant and ATF agents used non-lethal force to subdue him. The other two were arrested without incident.

ROLL was interviewed by law enforcement officers. ROLL minimized his role in the robbery and then declined to answer any further questions.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that ROLL will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, ROLL 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 conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.