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Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula, on April 28, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, the following individuals were arraigned:

JEREMY CURTIS PETERSON, a 31-year-old resident of Helena, appeared on charges of receipt and possession of child pornography. He is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of these charges, PETERSON faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 20 years, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Billings Police Department, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.

CORY MARTINEZ, a 25-year-old resident of Dillon, appeared on charges of receipt and possession of child pornography. He is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of these charges, MARTINEZ faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 20 years, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Helena Police Department, the Dillon Police Department and the Beaverhead County Sheriff's Office.

LESLIE SUSAN STEHR, a 45-year-old resident of Missoula, appeared on charges of embezzlement by a bank employee and tax evasion. She is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of these charges, STEHR faces possible penalties of 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

CHAD BROOKS, age 36, and MICHELLE BROOKS, age 45, residents of Polson, appeared on charges of theft of government property and food stamp fraud. They are currently released on special conditions. If convicted of these charges, they each face possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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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