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 December 22, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, the following individuals were arraigned:
STEVE PHAYSITH, a 44-year-old resident of Marysville, Washington, appeared on a charge of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, PHAYSITH faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years up to 40 years in prison, a $2,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Missouri River Drug Task Force.
JOSE RIVAS-REYES, a 26-year-old resident of Bozeman, appeared on a charge of illegal re-entry. He is currently detained. If convicted of this charge, RIVAS-REYES faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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.