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Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on April 10, 2012, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, the following individuals were arraigned:

VERLA ANN STILL SMOKING, a 39-year-old resident of Browning, appeared on a charge of distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death. She is currently detained. If convicted of this charge, STILL SMOKING faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum 20 years in prison and could be sentenced to life, a $1,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael T. Wolfe is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. TERRA LEE BRANDY RUNNING CRANE, a 27-year-old resident of Browning, appeared on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. She is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, RUNNING CRANE faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release on each charge. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura B. Weiss is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

JAMIE JEAN MORAN, a 31-year-old resident of Missoula, appeared on a charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. MORAN is currently detained. If convicted of this charge, MORAN faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 40 years, a $5,000,000 fine and 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

CHRISTOPHER STEVEN RITTER, a 22-year-old resident of Great Falls, appeared on charges of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of cocaine, and possession of unregistered firearms. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, RITTER faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 40 years, a $5,000,000 fine and 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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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