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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Wyoming

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sentences For August 14 – 22, 2013

Richard Michael Hursh, aka Richard Tucker, 34, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson on August 22, 2013, for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Hursh was arrested in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He received 33 months imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a $100.00 special assessment and a $100.00 fine. This case was investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Christopher Ponish, 52, of Panorama City, California, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl on August 21 2013, for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Ponish was arrested in Panorama City, California. He received 24 months imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a $100.00 special assessment and restitution in the amount of $4,425,034.63, joint and several with all co-defendants in Criminal Case 12-CR-00058-S. The Court additionally ordered forfeiture in the amount of $197,200.00. This case was investigated by the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Secret Service.

Marco Buckley, 28, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl on August 21, 2013, for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Buckley was arrested in Casper, Wyoming. He received 64 months imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a$100.00 special assessment and a $400.00 fine. This case was investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Kevin Best, aka Julian Josef, aka Bill Baker, 54, of Van Nuys, California, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl on August 16, 2013, for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Best was arrested in Van Nuys, California. He received 24 months imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a $100.00 special assessment and restitution in the amount of $4,425,034.63, joint and several with all co-defendants in Criminal Case 12-CR-00058-S. The Court additionally ordered forfeiture in the amount of $99,083.58. This case was investigated by the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Secret Service.

Lauren Elizabeth Scott, aka Jillian Taylor, dba Mountain State Power Group, Inc., Mountain State Power, Inc., and Sovereign Energy Partners, 54, of Morgan, Utah, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl on August 16, 2013, for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money. Scott was arrested in Morgan, Utah. She received 57 months imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a $200.00 special assessment and restitution in the amount of $4,425,034.63, joint and several with all co-defendants in Criminal Case 12-CR-00058-S. The Court additionally ordered forfeiture in the amount of $1,123,000.00. This case was investigated by the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Secret Service.

Kari Lee Steelman, 25, of Casper, Wyoming, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl in August 14, 2013, on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, a synthetic cannabinoid, a Schedule I controlled substance analogue, resulting in serious bodily injury and one count of distribution of a synthetic cannabinoid, a Schedule I controlled substance analogue, resulting in serious bodily injury and aiding and abetting. Steelman was arrested in Casper, Wyoming. She received 36 months imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a $200.00 special assessment. The case was investigated by the Casper Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Updated July 14, 2015