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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 17, 2021

Informational: Federal Court arraignments

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that the following persons were arraigned or appeared this week before U.S. Magistrate judges on indictments handed down by the Grand Jury or on criminal complaints. The charging documents are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty:

Appearing in Billings before U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan and pleading not guilty on Sept. 16 was:

Laymond Perry Brien, 38, of Lame Deer, on charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. If convicted of the most serious crime, Brien faces a mandatory minimum five years to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine and four years of supervised release. Brien was released pending further proceedings. The Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated the case. PACER case reference. 21-58.

Amber Dawn Godijohn, 39, of Billings, on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. If convicted of the most serious crime, Godijohn faces a maximum 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on the fraud crimes and two years in prison, a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release consecutive to any other sentence. Godijohn was detained pending further proceedings. The U.S. Secret Service and the Billings Police Department investigated the case. PACER case reference. 21-23.

Appearing on Sept. 14 was:

Benito Craig Castro, 32, Billings, on charges of prohibited person in possession of a firearm and ammunition. If convicted of the most serious crime, Castro faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Castro was detained pending further proceedings. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case. PACER case reference. 21-59.

Appearing on Sept. 13 was:

Tirell Lewis, 40, of Billings, on charges of prohibited person in possession of a firearm. If convicted of the most serious crime, Lewis faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Lewis was detained pending further proceedings. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case. PACER case reference. 21-46.

Appearing in Great Falls before U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Johnston and pleading not guilty on Sept. 13 was:

Leon Houle, 47, of Box Elder, on charges of assault with intent to commit murder, kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. If convicted of the most serious crime, Houle faces a maximum of life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release. Houle was detained pending further proceedings. The FBI investigated the case. PACER case reference. 21-60.

Tabitha Gopher, 23, unknown hometown, on charges of assault to commit murder, kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. If convicted of the most serious crime, Gopher faces a maximum of life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release. Gopher was detained pending further proceedings. The FBI investigated the case. PACER case reference. 21-61.

The progress of cases may be monitored through the U.S. District Court Calendar and the PACER system. To establish a PACER account, which provides electronic access to review documents filed in a case, please visit http://www.pacer.gov/register.html. To access the District Court’s calendar, please visit https://ecf.mtd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/PublicCalendar.pl.

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Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair J. Howard Public Affairs Officer 406-247-4623
Updated September 17, 2021