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Press Release


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

United States Attorney Bob Murray announced today that BENITA LOUISE SMITH, 56, of Kinnear, Wyoming was charged by indictment for making a false statement. Smith appeared for an arraignment hearing before United States Magistrate Teresa M. McKee on November 30, 2021, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. A trial has been set for January 31, 2022, before United States District Court Judge Nancy D. Freudenthal.

The indictment alleges that on or about October 26, 2020, Smith did knowingly make a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, that is, by stating and representing to a Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent that a Bureau of Indian Affairs police officer had sexually assaulted her after he took her into custody, when the defendant knew the officer had not sexually assaulted her.

If convicted, Smith faces up to eight years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.

This crime is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Elmore will be prosecuting the case.  

An indictment merely contains allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Case No. 21-cr-00091-NDF


Contact: Lori Hogan (Contractor)
United States Attorney Spokesman
Office: 307-772-2124
Twitter: @usaowy

Updated April 19, 2023

Press Release Number: 21-076