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Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 10, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on June 9, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, the following individuals were arraigned:

ROBERT MATTHEW WANBERG, a 24-year-old resident of Missoula, appeared on a charge of receipt of child pornography. He is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, WANBERG faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 20 years, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Missoula Police Department, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

TRACY MEERKATZ, a 39-year-old resident of Kalispell/Lakeside, appeared on a charge of wire fraud. MEERKATZ is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, MEERKATZ faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service.

JEFFREY JOHN HAWK, age 48, and PAMELA SUE HAWK, age 49, residents of Missoula, appeared on charged of making false statements (HUD Program Fraud). They are currently released on special conditions. If convicted of these charges, they each face possible penalties of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Inspector General's Office.

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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