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 June 24, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, the following individuals were arraigned:
LINCOLN BENAVIDES, age 35 of Boise, Idaho, and BRIAN WALTER WEBER, age 32, formerly of Florence, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, murder while engaged in drug trafficking, and violent crimes in aid of racketeering. They are currently detained. If convicted of these charges, they each face possible penalties of life in prison, a $250,000 fine and 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. Thaggard and Tara J. Elliott are the prosecutors for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office.
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.