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Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on March 31, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn S. Ostby, the following individuals were arraigned:

BENEDICT DANIEL SHOULDERBLADE, a 28-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on a charge of failure to register as a sexual offender. He is currently detained. If convicted of this charge, SHOULDERBLADE faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to life time supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the United States Marshals Service.

MITCHAEL MORGAN, a 41-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on a charge of false claims. He is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, MORGAN faces possible penalties of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by a cooperative effort between the United States Secret Service, the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

BRADLEY COWAN, a 31-year-old resident of Helena, appeared on a charge of felon in possession of a firearm. He is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, COWAN faces possible penalties of 10 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 a cooperative effort between the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office and 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.

 

 

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