Informational: Federal Court Arraignment
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on October 7, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, the following individuals were arraigned:
AL BENAVIDES, a 62-year-old resident of Pasco, Washington, appeared on a charge of aiding or assisting false or fraudulent documents. He is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, BENAVIDES faces possible penalties of 3 years in prison, a $100,000 fine and 1 year supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kris A. McLean is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.
JAMES PAKOOTAS, a 27-year-old resident of Nespelem, Washington, appeared on a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, PAKOOTAS faces possible penalties of five years up to forty years in prison, a $2,000,000 fine and 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliot is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The defendants pled not guilty to the charge.
The charge, an indictment, information or complaint, is merely an accusation and any person 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.