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Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 20, 2010

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on May 20, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, the following individuals were arraigned:

ERIC JAMES WELLINGTON, a 22-year-old resident of Great Falls, appeared on charges of being a felon-in-possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, WELLINGTON faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kory Larsen is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

TARIE MARIE STROOP, a 49-year-old resident of Great Falls, appeared on a charge of embezzlement from a local government. She is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, STROOP 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation in cooperation with the Cascade County Sheriff's Office.

AMBER MARIE BEAR, age 38, MAMIE JEAN BEAR, age 56, and WALLENE MARY BEAR, age 50, residents of Harlem, appeared on charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. They are currently detained. If convicted of these charges, they each face possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 40 years, a $2,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tri-County Drug Task Force and the Fort Belknap Law Enforcement Division.

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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