(STL.News) – A Billings man who admitted robbing Dotty’s Casino at gunpoint and demanded the attendant to empty the till was sentenced today to 13 years and six months in prison and five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Joshua Stanley Roberts, 37, pleaded guilty in February to robbery affecting commerce, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and felon in possession of a firearm.
U.S. District Judge Susan Watters presided.
The prosecution said in court records that Roberts robbed Dotty’s Casino in Billings on July 27, 2018 after he entered the business by following another individual who had been buzzed in. Once inside, Roberts pulled out a semi-automatic handgun, pointed it at the casino attendant and demanded the attendant empty the till. Roberts got $516 from the casino.
Later that day, Billings Police officers pulled over a car driven by Roberts’ ex-girlfriend. Roberts was in the back seat with a co-defendant. The officers located a 9mm semi-automatic pistol in the back seat. In November 2008, Roberts was convicted in U.S. District Court in Montana for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin Rubich prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Billings Police Department.
The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.