Informational: Federal Court Arraignments
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on July 21, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Keith Strong, the following individuals were arraigned:
ALEXIS ALICIA GONZALEZ, a 23-year-old resident of Utah, appeared on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine. She is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, GONZALEZ faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of ten years up to life in prison, a $4,000,000 fine and at least 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney E. Vincent Carroll is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Great Falls Police Department and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.
SHANNON LEE PITZER, a 47-year-old resident of Great Falls, appeared on a charge of theft of federal property by fraud. She is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of this charge, PITZER faces possible penalties of ten 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 conducted by a cooperative effort between the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General.
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.