HTML VIEW - USAO Header SSI
News and Press Releases

Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on July 21, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn S. Ostby, the following individuals were arraigned:

WANDA SUE VENEGAS, a 41-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on charges of theft of federal property and welfare fraud. She is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of these charges, VENEGAS faces 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture - Office of Inspector General.

JOHN J. LORENZ and KENNETH L. LORENZ appeared on charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, and distribution of methamphetamine in the Sidney area. They are 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 at least 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Seykora is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

BRITTANY LEIGH SMITH, a 22-year-old resident of Crow Agency/Garryowen, appeared on a charge of assault resulting in serious bodily injury. She is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, SMITH faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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.

 

 

Return to Top

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.