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Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 27, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on April 26, 2012, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, the following individuals were arraigned:

THOMAS RANDOLPH BELL, a 45-year-old resident of Kalispell, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, BELL faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to life, a $4,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations and the Northwest Montana Drug Task Force.

LUCAS JOHN BRAGER, a 30-year-old resident of Kalispell, and BRANDY SUE BURKOWSKI, a 26-year-old resident of Fortine, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. They are currently detained. If convicted of these charges, they each face possible penalties of a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to life, a $4,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations and the Northwest Montana Drug Task Force.

LYNDA FRENCH, a 50-year-old resident of Columbus, appeared on a charge of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. She is currently detained. If convicted of this charge, FRENCH 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 Timothy J. Racicot is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Missouri River Drug Task Force.

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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