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Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 02, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on July 2, 2012, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn S. Ostby, the following individuals were arraigned:

CORINA MOLDREM, a 27-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on charges of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine. She is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, MOLDREM faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in prison, a $4,000,000 fine and at least 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force, which includes the Billings Police Department and the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office.

TRAVIS COLBY FUCHS, a 28-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on charges of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine, counterfeiting obligations and securities of the United States and uttering counterfeit obligations and securities. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, FUCHS faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison up to life in prison, a $4,000,000 fine and at least 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force, which includes the Billings Police Department and the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office and the United States Secret Service.

BRANDON LEE STRECKER, a 38-year-old resident of Hardin, appeared on charges of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, manufacture marijuana, possession with intent to distribute/distribution of marijuana; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, STRECKER faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years up to life in prison, a $5,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the cooperative effort between the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Montana Highway Patrol and the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office.

ROSS T. PATTISON, a 49-year-old resident of Hardin, appeared on charges of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, manufacture marijuana, possession with intent to distribute/distribution of marijuana; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, felon in possession of a firearm, and addict in possession of a firearm. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, PATTISON faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years up to life in prison, a $5,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the cooperative effort between the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Montana Highway Patrol and the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office.

JASON OWEN GIERKE, a 51-year-old resident of Miles City, appeared on charges of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and manufacture marijuana, possession with intent to distribute/distribution of marijuana. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, GIERKE faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years up to 40 years prison, a $5,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the cooperative effort between the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Montana Highway Patrol and the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office.

TRAVIS BIRDINGROUND, a 44-year-old resident of Hardin, appeared on charges of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and manufacture marijuana, possession with intent to distribute/distribution of marijuana. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, BIRDINGROUND faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years up to 40 years prison, a $5,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the cooperative effort between the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Montana Highway Patrol and the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office.

DORAN LESLIE HEWITT II, a 31-year-old resident of Hardin, appeared on charges of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and manufacture marijuana, possession with intent to distribute/distribution of marijuana. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, HEWITT faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years up to 40 years prison, a $5,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the cooperative effort between the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Montana Highway Patrol and the Big Horn County Sheriff'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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