Billings man charged with sex, drug trafficking crimes
BILLINGS—A Billings man accused of sex trafficking and drug distribution crimes was arraigned today on charges, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Mario Juan Drake, 31, pleaded not guilty to six counts in a 25-count indictment charging four defendants. Co-defendants William Maurice Newkirk, Djavon Lamont King and Dejon Anthony Duncan have been arraigned and have pleaded not guilty.
The charging documents are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Drake pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking of a minor, two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. If convicted of the most serious crime, Drake faces a minimum mandatory 15 years to life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to life of supervised release.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. Drake was detained pending further proceedings.
The indictment alleges that from about 2018 through 2019, Drake became involved in the distribution of illegal narcotics and in commercial sex and sex trafficking of a minor in Billings and other Montana cities.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zeno Baucus and Bryan Dake are prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI.
Pacer case reference. 20-25.
If the above case is of interest to your media organization and the community it serves, we encourage you to monitor its progress through the U.S. District Court calendar and the PACER system.
To establish a PACER account, which will allow you to review documents filed in the case, please go to, http://www.pacer.gov/register.html. To access the district court’s calendar, please go to https://ecf.mtd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/PublicCalendar.pl.