HTML VIEW - USAO Header SSI
News and Press Releases

Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on December 28, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn S. Ostby, the following individuals were arraigned:

MICHAEL ROBERT SMITH, age 27, appeared on charges of social security fraud and making false statements. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, SMITH faces possible penalties of 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Archer is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the United States Secret Service.

TYLER BENNER, a 25-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery affecting commerce. He is currently detained. If convicted of this charge, BENNER faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office.

COREY MATTHEW LICH, a 33-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on a charge of tampering with a witness. He is currently detained. If convicted of this charge, LICH faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Seykora is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Homeland Security Investigations and the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation.

LUCAS ANTHONY LEENKNECHT, a 33-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, money laundering, and tampering with a witness. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, LEENKNECHT 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 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Seykora is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Homeland Security Investigations and the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation.

CHRISTOPHER ANDREW LICH, a 33-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, money laundering, and tampering with a witness. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, LICH 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 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Seykora is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Homeland Security Investigations and the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation.

SS 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.

 

 

Return to Top

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.