Informational: Federal Court Arraignments
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on September 30, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, the following individuals were arraigned:
BROCKTIN JAMES RUSSO, a 20-year-old resident of Tooele, Utah, CORY MICHAEL LOUDEN, a 22-year-old resident of Helena, and DEREK GENE SHERLOCK, a 26-year-old resident of Helena, appeared on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
TRAVIS LEE HESS, a 29-year-old resident of Great Falls, appeared on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine.
RUSSO, LOUDEN and SHERLOCK are currently released on special conditions and HESS is 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 Vince Carroll is the prosecutor for the United States.
The defendants pled not guilty to the charges.
The case is being investigated by the Central Montana Gang Task Force, an FBI Safe Streets Task Force Initiative. The task force was formed in 2004. A number of law enforcement agencies participated, including the Great Falls Police Department, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The task force responds to violent crimes and conducts long term criminal enterprise investigations in an ongoing effort to create safer communities.
The charge, an indictment, information or complaint, is merely an accusation and any person named as a defendant is 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.