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Following armed carjackings throughout Yellowstone and Cascade counties, a Wolf Point man sentenced to more than 11 years in jail



Great Falls, Montana – A man from Wolf Point was sentenced to 11 years and two months in prison, with five years of supervised release, after he admitted to trying to commit carjacking and a firearms crime as part of a violent crime spree that started with an armed carjacking in Yellowstone County and ended with another carjacking in Cascade County. U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich made the announcement.

The 27-year-old Santana Cruz Ledeau entered a guilty plea in May to attempted carjacking as well as using, carrying, and brandishing a pistol in support of violent crimes.

Brian M. Morris, chief U.S. district judge, gave the ruling. Also, the court-mandated $500 in restitution.

The federal system does not include parole; nevertheless, a defendant who receives credit for good behavior may be eligible for a reduced term, not to exceed fifteen percent of the total sentence.

“Ledeau terrorized two communities during his armed carjacking rampage, causing schools and residents to shelter-in-place and putting people in fear of having their vehicles stolen at gunpoint. It is a miracle no one was killed or seriously injured. But Ledeau still inflicted severe trauma on the victims he randomly attacked, and he nearly ran over two deputies with the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office as they were attempting to stop him,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said. “Ending Ledeau’s crime spree and holding him accountable would not have happened without the extraordinary dedication to public safety by local, state, and federal law enforcement, many of whom jeopardized their own lives to bring Ledeau to justice.”

“I am grateful to and proud of the Great Falls Police Department, Cascade County Attorney’s Office, Cascade County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, Musselshell County Sheriff’s Office, Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office, Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office, Billings Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their outstanding work on this case.”

In court filings, the government said that Ledeau harassed a woman on September 30, 2022, in Billings, Montana, when she attempted to exit her vehicle in a hospital parking lot. Ledeau poured pepper spray in her face, demanded keys, and brandished a revolver at her. After then, he stole the woman’s car and ran away. The rifle was “red with some silver,” according to the woman. A few days later, in Musselshell County, the automobile was located by law authorities.

A few weeks later, on October 17, 2022, the government further said, Ledeau was driving about Great Falls with a female companion in a white truck that turned out to be stolen from North Dakota.

Ledeau fired a firearm into the air during a brawl outside a motel. He was involved in a hit-and-run car accident and left the scene. Unable to halt him, Ledeau continued south on Interstate 15 in the direction of Ulm. Ledeau got off the road when he came closer to Ulm, pulled up behind a Buick sedan, got out of the truck, and demanded the Buick from the driver.

The motorist would not give up his vehicle. Subsequently, Ledeau shot through the driver’s side window of the car while pointing a pistol at it. The bullet entered the trunk, where it was found, shattering the window. Ledeau drove the stolen vehicle down Interstate 15 while the driver quickly drove off.

Ledeau made it to Cascade, the authorities further claimed, before running out of gas. Ledeau and his colleague entered the man’s car after he volunteered to accompany him to the petrol station. But as soon as they were inside the car, Ledeau demanded to see the driver and brandished a knife.

The driver saw police enforcement was starting to arrive and leaped out of the vehicle. Ledeau drove the stolen automobile at the deputies, forcing them to run for their lives in an attempt to stop him.

Ledeau drove back onto Freeway 15 at a fast speed and went the opposite way on the freeway while deputies tried to stop him. Eventually, Ledeau pulled off the road and crashed close to Simms.

Officers discovered Ledeau carrying a bottle of Southern Comfort whiskey and a handgun that seemed to be the same one he used in the carjacking in Billings when they arrived at the collision scene. Agents found multiple cartridges, ammo, and empty ammunition boxes in the truck, and Ledeau was aggressive and inebriated. It was discovered that the gun was a 9mm handgun because it had a dark-colored slide and a red stock.






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