Informational: Federal Court Arraignments
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula, on March 3, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, the following individuals were arraigned:
DONOVAN DEHNEL, age 35, and DEANNA HAMILTON, age 42, residents of Spokane, Washington, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. HAMILTON is currently released on special conditions and DEHNEL is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, they each face possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to life, a $4,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Northwest Montana Drug Task Force.
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.