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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 5, 2022

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 Aug. 4 was:

James Kelly Chavez, 40, of Billings, on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute meth. If convicted of the most serious crime, Chavez faces a mandatory minimum 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release. Chavez was detained pending further proceedings. The Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration and Montana Division of Criminal Investigation investigated the case. PACER case reference. 22-75.

Appearing on Aug. 2 was:

Oscar Albert Nevarez, 38, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth, possession with intent to distribute meth and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted of the most serious crime, Nevarez faces a mandatory minimum 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release on the drug crimes and a mandatory minimum five years to life in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release on the firearms crime. Nevarez was detained pending further proceedings. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Park County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. PACER case reference. 22-43.

James D. Murrieta, 36, of Utica, New York, on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth, possession with intent to distribute meth, distribution of meth and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted of the most serious crime, Murrieta faces a mandatory minimum 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release on the drug crimes and a mandatory minimum five years to life in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release on the firearms crime. Murrieta was detained pending further proceedings. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Park County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. PACER case reference. 22-43.

Appearing on Aug. 4 in Great Falls before U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Johnston for an initial appearance on a criminal complaint was:

Jorge Perez, 40, of Spokane, Washington, on charges of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted of the most serious crime, Perez faces a mandatory minimum 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release. Perez was detained pending further proceedings. The FBI investigated the case. PACER case reference. 22-59.

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 Johnson Howard Public Affairs Officer 406-247-4623
Press Release Number: 
22-185
Updated August 5, 2022