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April 2011
Tim Bilecki

Marine Facing 235 Years in Prison for Drugs and Currency Fraud Serves 18 Months

Conspiracy, Counterfeiting US Currency x7, Use of Methamphetamines x3, Trafficking of Cocaine,
Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
Marine Corps Lance Corporal - E-3
Plea agreement negotiated for 18 months confinement.

Maximum Sentence:

  • Dishonorable Discharge
  • 235 Years Confinement
  • Total Forfeiture
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Federal Felony Drug Conviction

A Marine Lance Corporal stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii was charged under the UCMJ with the extremely serious offenses of drug trafficking, conspiracy, and uttering counterfeit currency for a criminal enterprise alleged to have counterfeited over $100,000 in currency that was alleged laundered through various consumer establishments and adult entertainment nightclubs in Hawaii.

This case came about after a lengthy federal investigation, a joint effort by the FBI and Secret Service that utilized wiretaps, undercover surveillance, and confidential informants. The goal was to ferret out a massive criminal enterprise involving the production and uttering of counterfeit US currency as well as related drug trafficking.

The Lance Corporal was initially facing a federal indictment with mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, one of the main goals in this case was ensuring that the Marine was charged in the military system, not by the US Attorney’s Office. That goal was met through the Marine’s substantial cooperation with the Secret Service and NCIS. However, even after the Marine Corps preferred court martial charges, the military prosecutors sought an extensive period of confinement. Hawaii court martial defense lawyer Tim Bilecki fought the UCMJ charges and filed voluminous motions to suppress the nearly 30 hours of recorded interrogations and admissions made by the accused.

Based in part on an extensive motions practice and our unrelenting pressure to try the case in what would have likely been a multiple-week, incredibly expensive trial, the government relented and a plea agreement for 18 months confinement was negotiated.  This  Marine was facing a maximum sentence of 235 years confinement based on the charges referred against him at the general court martial.

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