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Press Release

Two Wellpinit, Washington Women Sentenced to Federal Prison for Violent Assault

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Melissa Elizabeth Suszka, age 34, and Alycia Jean Scott, age 23, both of Wellpinit, Washington, were sentenced for their participation in a drug-related violent assault. Suszka previously plead guilty to Solicitation of a Crime of Violence and Scott previously plead guilty to Misprision of a Felony. United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza sentenced Suszka to a 37-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of court supervision after she is released from Federal prison. Judge Mendoza sentenced Scott to a 6-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by 1 year of court supervision after she is released.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, in August 2012, Suszka solicited other individuals, including Richard Peone, to assault a person to whom she had illegally sold drugs (prescription pills). Suszka had inadvertently sold that person more pills than she intended and that person thereafter refused to return the extra pills to her. As a result, Suszka solicited Peone and another individual to assault the victim. As per the planned assault, Scott drove the victim and the other individuals to a remote location on Martha Boardman Road on the Spokane Indian Reservation where the victim was severely beaten. Scott was present when the assault took place, participated in the plan, and failed to notify law enforcement about the assault.

These cases follow the previous sentencing of Richard Peone, who received a 39-month term of imprisonment in 2014 for his participation in the assault. One additional defendant who took part in the assault will be sentenced in mid-September.

Michael C. Ormsby stated, “Drug-related violence within Indian reservations will not be tolerated.” “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington is, and will continue to be, committed to aggressively prosecuting violent assaults that occur within federal jurisdiction, including the Indian reservations in this District.” “We appreciate the assistance and support that our office and the FBI receive from tribal leadership and law enforcement.”

This investigation was conducted by FBI and the Spokane Tribal Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Rudy J. Verschoor, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Updated August 28, 2015

Press Release Number: CR-14-00120-SMJ