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Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 14, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on January 13, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, the following individuals were arraigned:

NICHOLAS ALBRECHT, age 31, and STEVEN WANDLE, age 21, residents of Butte, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. ALBRECHT is currently detained and WANDLE is currently released on special conditions. 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 Tara J. Elliott is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.

STANLEY SMITH, a 52-year-old resident of Butte, appeared on charges of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, SMITH faces 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 Timothy J. Racicot is the prosecutor for the United States. MICHAEL ALLEN GARDIPEE, a 36-year-old resident of Butte, appeared on a charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. He is currently detained. If convicted of this charge, GARDIPEE faces 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 Tara J. Elliott is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and the Southwest Montan Drug Task Force.

CLAY ALLEN ROBERTS, a 27-year-old resident of Bozeman, appeared on a charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. He is currently detained. If convicted of this charge, ROBERTS faces 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 Timothy J. Racicot is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Missouri River Drug Task Force.

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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