Keith Graves sentenced to 33 years 9 months

Long term housing for Keith Graves. Duration of residence yet to be determined. Photo courtesy of
Residence of Keith Graves for the next 33 years. Photo courtesy of

Sentencing was on February 17. Federal judge Daniel Hovland sentenced Keith Graves to 33 years 9 months in federal prison for five counts of human trafficking along with drug possession and distribution.

2/18 – Williston Herald – Man sentenced to 33 years for sex trafficking (online link not available) – Article says the feds asked for life. Judge ruled 33 years 9 months is the appropriate sentence. Article says he noted that is within federal sentencing guidelines.

Update: Viewable copy of above article:  Dickinson Press – ‘Despicable’ sex trafficker gets 33 years in prison

Prosecutors claimed in the hearing there were “dozens” of additional victims, none of whom could be located for the trial.  It looks like those victims were identified by review of the electronic devices confiscated from Mr. Graves. He denies those devices are his.

Mr. Graves says he will appeal the conviction. He also objected to several references to previous conviction (or convictions, not sure) for sexual offense.

I have not read the sentencing arguments filed by the US Probation Office. Last time I checked, the document was posted at the federal PACER system but not available to be read.

Sentencing guidelines

Last fall I made an uneducated guess on the sentence Mr. Graves had earned.

My discussions were here:

My conclusion:

Adding 4 offense levels to the base offense level of 34 gives an offense level of 38. For Category I, the sentencing guidelines there are 235-293 months (19.6-24.4 years). For Category II, where I think Mr. Graves would fit as discussed in the earlier post, the recommendation would be 262-327 months (21.8-27.2 years).

So here is my really wild, uneducated guess for the sentencing range (before multiple other possible increases and decreases): somewhere between 22 and 27 years.

The federal sentencing guidelines are discussed here:

For the judge to say 33 years is within sentencing guidelines tells me the sentencing determination was based on offense level 41 with criminal history of 2, or an offense level of 40 with criminal history of 3. That would put the sentencing guideline in a range of 30 years to life.

My guess after reading the article is the guideline was offense level 41.

That would be a 7 level increase over the base offense of 34, while I had guessed a 4 level increase. That means I missed a 3 level increase. Or Mr. Graves represented himself and was not able to counter any of the prosecutor’s arguments for increased offense level.

Remaining time in prison

The Bureau of Prison’s Inmate locator system reports that Keith A Graves, age 39, inmate 13523-059, is not in BOP custody and the release date is unknown.

For your and my idle curiosity here is my guess on possible incarceration time.

I think he was taken into custody in early August 2014. Let’s round up and count that as 19 months. That would mean he gets credit for 19 months against the 33 years.

Remember in the federal system, there is a 53 day credit for each year for good behavior. Let’s make the extremely optimistic assumption that a sex trafficker can follow the rules in federal prison. Yeah, a big assumption, but work with me. That would give him the possibility of 53 days for 33 years, or 1,749 days of early release.  That is 4.79 years, or 4 years, 9.5 months.

So, my completely wild guess of the remaining incarceration time is:

  • 33 years 9 months– sentence
  • 1 year 7 months – credit for time served
  • 4 years 9 months – potential early release for good behavior
  • 6 years 4 months – total possible time credited to sentence
  • 27 years 5 months – my guess on time in federal prison

That would give a possible official release date of about July 2043.

With his current age of 39, that means the earliest he could be released is when he is about 66 or 67 years old.

Based on my limited learning of federal procedures, he might get released to a half-way house some amount of time in advance of that date so he can start adjusting to life outside prison.

In federal prison from age 39 to age 66. All of his 40s, 50s, and most of his 60s. Sounds reasonable to me.

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