Informational: Federal Court Arraignment
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula, on March 27, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, the following individual was arraigned:
HEATHER RENAE WHITAKER, a resident of Missoula, appeared on a charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. She is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, WHITAKER faces 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 Tara J. Elliott is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, and the Central Montana Drug Task Force.
The defendant pled not guilty to the charge(s).
The charge, an indictment, information or complaint, is merely an accusation and any person named as a defendant is 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.