Subscribe for 17¢ / day

A Miles City man serving a federal sentence for his role in large medical-marijuana prosecution said nothing as a judge ordered the maximum term in a child pornography case on Thursday.

Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull in Billings sentenced Justin Flor, 35, to 10 years in prison with 10 years of supervised release and ordered him to register as a sex offender. Cebull ordered the sentence to run concurrent to Flor’s five-year term in the marijuana case.

Cebull followed a plea agreement recommendation and imposed the 10-year statutory maximum.

Flor pleaded guilty in October to possessing child porn for three movies that had been downloaded onto his cellphone.

Flor also is awaiting sentencing in state District Court in Custer County where he pleaded guilty to rape for having sex with a 14-year-old.

The child porn charge came out of the rape case investigation, which began in January 2012 when Miles City law enforcement got a tip that Flor was thought to be having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

Defense attorney Brad Arndorfer recommended the 10-year sentence and said Flor’s marijuana sentence was longer than what other, more culpable defendants received or were offered. He also said there have been suspended sentences in cases where sex with a minor was consensual. The victim, he said, didn’t want to cooperate.

Flor admitted that he has a problem and took responsibility immediately, Arnorfer said. A psycho-sexual evaluation found Flor to be a moderate risk to re-offend, he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia Hurd painted a different picture of Flor.

“Make no mistake — it can’t be consensual” when the victim is 14, Hurd told the judge. “This is not the drug case."

Calling Flor “every parent’s nightmare,” Hurd said he met the 14-year-old, who has learning disabilities, on Facebook. He provided her with marijuana, which she said was “at odds” with his claim to be a medical-marijuana provider, and had child porn movies on his phone. Flor also lied about the relationship to a woman with whom he was involved and who called him a “great guy” in a letter to Cebull, she said.

Flor committed the child porn and rape crimes while on release awaiting sentencing in the marijuana case, Hurd said.

Flor and his parents, Richard and Sherry Flor, were convicted in the marijuana case as part of the prosecution of Helena-based Montana Cannabis LLC. The operation sold and distributed medical marijuana throughout the state until raided by federal agents in 2011.

Richard Flor, 68, died in prison. Sherry Flor, 54, received a two-year sentence.

 

 

0
0
0
0
0

Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.