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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 24, 2020

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 July 20 was:

Kristin Alise Smith, 43, 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, Smith faces a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release. Smith was detained pending further proceedings. The FBI Western Transnational Organized Crime Task Force investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-80.

Mark Stephen Best, 60, of Billings, on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth, possession with intent to distribute meth and distribution of meth. If convicted of the most serious crime, Best faces a minimum mandatory five years to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine and at least five years of supervised release. Best was detained pending further proceedings. Pacer case reference. 20-67.

Appearing on July 21 was:

Lisa Ann Emmett, 34, of Billings, and Anthony Scott Walker, 40, of Billings, on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted of the most serious crime, Emmett and Walker face minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release. Emmett and Walker were released pending further proceedings. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-53.

Drew Hochhalter, 37, of Hardin, on charges of distribution of methamphetamine. If convicted of the most serious crime, Hochhalter faces a maximum 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and at least three years of supervised release. Hochhalter was released pending further proceedings. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-54.

Chase Everett Sexton, 30, of Billings, on charges of false statement during firearms transaction. If convicted of the most serious crime, Sexton faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Sexton was released pending further proceedings. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-63.

Sean Evan Thomas Bad Bear, 28, of Billings, on charges of assault by strangulation of an intimate partner and dating partner. If convicted of the most serious crime, Bad Bear faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Bad Bear was released pending further proceedings. The FBI investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-52.

Appearing on July 23 was:

Robert Joseph Speelman, 48, of Ashland, on charges of 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, Speelman faces a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release on the drug count and a minimum mandatory five years to life consecutive to any other sentence on the firearm count. Speelman was detained pending further proceedings. The Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-57.

Simon Douglas Stanley, 45, of Miles City, on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth, possession with intent to distribute meth, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted of the most serious crime, Stanley faces a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release on the drug count and a minimum mandatory five years to life consecutive to any other sentence on the firearm count. Stanley was released pending further proceedings. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-58.

Cody Raymond Hanson, 39, of Billings, and Danielle Leona Dye, 29, of Billings, on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth and possession with intent to distribute meth. If convicted of the most serious crime, Hanson and Dye face a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release. Hanson and Dye were detained pending further proceedings. The FBI Western Transnational Organized Crime Task Force investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-72.

Appearing in Missoula before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto and pleading not guilty on July 21 was:

Christopher Anthony Willis, 41, of Missoula, on charges of false statement in firearm acquisition. If convicted of the most serious crime, Willis faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Willis was released pending further proceedings. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-26.

Justin Patrick Kline, 33, of Bozeman, on charges of prohibited person in possession of a firearm. If convicted of the most serious crime, Kline faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Kline was released pending further proceedings. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Montana Department of Corrections Probation and Parole. Pacer case reference. 20-12.

Appearing in Great Falls before U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Johnston and pleading not guilty on July 22 was:

Mitchell Joseph Wright, 40, of Rancho Palos, CA, on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted of the most serious crime, Wright faces a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release. Wright was detained pending further proceedings. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Great Falls Police Department, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Lewistown Police Department investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-50.

Christopher Michael Stebbins, 53, of Williston, N.D., on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth and attempted possession with intent to distribute meth. If convicted of the most serious crime, Stebbins faces a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release. Stebbins was detained pending further proceedings. The FBI and Fort Peck Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-49.

Austin Lee Pipe Sr., 29, of Wolf Point, on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in substantial injury to dating partner. If convicted of the most serious crime, Pipe faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Pipe was detained pending further proceedings. The FBI and Fort Peck Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Pacer case reference. 20-48.

If any of the above cases are of interest to your media organization and the community it serves, we encourage you to monitor the progress of the case regularly 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.

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Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair Johnson Howard Public Information Officer 406-247-4623
Updated July 24, 2020