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Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on May 24, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, the following individuals were arraigned:

AUSTIN EDWARD FONK, a 23-year-old resident of Helena, appeared on a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, FONK 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 Paulette L. Stewart is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.

ELIZABETH P. JOHNSON, a 35-year-old resident of Bozeman, appeared on charges of wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. She is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of these charges, JOHNSON faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. In addition, JOHNSON faces an additional mandatory two year imprisonment, consecutive to any other sentence, for aggravated identity theft. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Archer is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

CHRISTIAN MICHAEL BAKER, a 36-year-old resident of Helena/Las Vegas, appeared on charges of investment fraud and money laundering. He is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of these charges, BAKER faces possible penalties of 20 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 a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

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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