Casino Robbery Firearms Supplier Pleads Guilty in Montana Federal Court

Posted on: November 7, 2022, 08:53h. 

Last updated on: November 9, 2022, 02:32h.

The March armed robbery of Magic Diamond Casino in Billings by two Montana women has led to a third person pleading guilty on a weapons charge. The guns used in the robbery were stolen and were later found on school grounds.

Makyla Shayd Fetter, left, and Taliah Jeneane Ramirez
Makyla Shayd Fetter, left, and Taliah Jeneane Ramirez in mug shots. Both have pleaded guilty to robbing a Billings, Mont. casino. A third suspect admitted to providing them with the firearms used in the crime. (Image: Yellowstone County Detention Facility)

Last week, the third suspect. Darwin Dalton Sutherland, 29, of unknown address, admitted in federal court to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm in connection with the case. He also admitted to giving the suspects the two firearms they used in the holdup, authorities said.

On March 16, 2023, when US District Judge Susan P. Watters sentences Sutherland, he could face up to 10 years in prison, a $250K fine, and three years of supervised release, according to Montana US Attorney Jesse Laslovich.

On March 20, the robbery suspects, Taliah Jeneane Ramirez, 22, of Billings, and Makyla Shayd Fetter, 28, of Harlem, allegedly robbed liquor from the Magic Diamond Casino in Billings Heights. They grabbed five bottles of Southern Comfort from a casino shelf.

Facing Decades in Prison

An employee asked Fetter for an ID before she allegedly pulled out a pistol, pointed it at the clerk, and said, “Here’s your … ID.” Then, Ramirez fired a gunshot into the air. The duo then fled in a Buick, instigating a high-speed chase.

The suspects later crashed the car into a fence at Billings’ Ponderosa Elementary School, some 6.2 miles south of the casino. Fetter was arrested soon after the holdup. Ramirez was arrested later.

The suspects ditched the two guns before jumping out of the car. One of the firearms was located by police soon after the robbery on the school’s playground. The following day, a student found the second firearm on school property and alerted a teacher. Both weapons were loaded.

Fetter and Ramirez later revealed to police they got the firearms from Sutherland.

Over the summer, Ramirez and Fetter both pleaded guilty to three charges and are awaiting sentencing. The charges include robbery affecting commerce, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm in a school zone.

The duo could face up to 20 years in prison, a $250K fine, and three years of supervised release on the robbery charge. On possessing a firearm in a crime of violence, each could face a mandatory minimum of seven years to life in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, a $250K fine, and five years of supervised release.

Possession of a firearm in a school zone means each could face a maximum of five years in prison, not to be run concurrent to any other sentence, a $250K fine, and three years of supervised release.

Guns Stolen from Residence

The two weapons were among the dozen firearms stolen in a Billings residential burglary on March 17. Sutherland later confessed he possessed 12 stolen firearms and admitted he gave two firearms to the suspects. He denied stealing the weapons.

It was revealed Sutherland could not possess firearms because he was convicted on a prior burglary count in Montana’s Cascade County.