Informational: Federal Court Arraignments
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on February 17, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn S. Ostby, the following individuals were arraigned:
KRISTY RENEE COTA, a 28-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on a charge of distribution of methamphetamine. She is currently detained. If convicted of this charge, COTA faces possible penalties of a minimum mandatory of five years up to forty years in prison, a $2,000,000 fine and four years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Seykora is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force, which includes the Billings Police Department and the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office.
JOSE M. CORCHADO, a 20-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on a charge of receipt of firearm while under indictment for felony crime. He is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, CORCHADO faces possible penalties of ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Zink is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
The defendants pled not guilty to the charges.
The charge, an indictment, information or complaint, is merely an accusation and all persons named as defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. A pre-trial conference and a trial date will be set and the United States will be required to prove the allegations set forth in the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt.