News and Press Releases

United States Attorney's Office Activity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2011

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY DISTRICT OF WYOMING

Christopher A. Crofts
United States Attorney

CONTACT: John R. Powell United States Attorney Spokesman PHONE: 307-772-2124

Three Arapaho Tribal Members Indicted for Embezzlement. U.S. Attorney for the District of Wyoming Christopher A. Crofts announced today that George Moss, Melody St. Clair and Amanda Addison Ortiz of the Wind River Reservation appeared in federal court after having been indicted in a three count indictment involving conspiracy to embezzle or convert monies from an organization receiving federal funds, and embezzling or converting monies from an organization receiving federal funds and aiding and abetting. The charges carry maximum penalties of up to ten years imprisonment on each count and restitution will be sought.

Jeremiah Carson, 31, of Casper, Wyoming, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson on February 10, 2011, for a felon in possession of a firearm. Carson received 168 months and 164 days of imprisonment, concurrent to his undischarged term of imprisonment imposed by the Natrona County District Court, a $500.00 fine and a $100.00 special assessment. Upon release from imprisonment, Carson will be placed on five years of supervised release. This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Laurie McPhearson, 27, of Bozeman, Montana, was sentenced by Magistrate Judge Michael R. Shickich on February 8, 2011, for delay or destruction of mail. McPhearson received a suspended jail sentence and 18 months of unsupervised probation. McPhearson was also ordered to pay a $150.00 special assessment and restitution in the amount of $1,670.00. This case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Service.

Jose Jesus Zepeda-Medina, 44, of Laramie, Wyoming, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson on February 8, 2011, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and aiding and abetting. Zepeda-Medina received 100 months of imprisonment to be followed by four years of supervised release. Zepeda-Medina is subject to deportation upon release from imprisonment. This case was investigated by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

James D. Engstrom, 41, of Rawlins, Wyoming, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Nancy D. Freudenthal on February 7, 2011, for theft or embezzlement in connection with a health care benefit program. Engstrom received one day of imprisonment, with credit for time served, followed by two years of supervised release. The first six months of the supervised release shall be served within home confinement. In addition, Engstrom was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and restitution in the amount of $50,869.20. This case was investigated by the State of Wyoming Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Ethan Surrell, 24, of Ethete, Wyoming, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson on February 7, 2011, for assault on a federal officer. Surrell received 12 months of imprisonment, a $100.00 special assessment, restitution in the amount of $1,532.10 and two years of supervised release. This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Michael Vangorp, 29, of Casper, Wyoming, was sentenced by Chief Federal District Court Judge William F. Downes on January 24, 2011, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Vangorp received 235 months of imprisonment, a $100.00 special assessment and five years of supervised release. In addition, Vangorp was ordered to forfeit $3,000.00. This case was investigated by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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