U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Montana
(406) 657-6101
May 29, 2015

Information: Federal Court Arraignments

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that those persons listed below were arraigned before the U.S. Magistrate and the indictments handed down by the Grand Jury unsealed.

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Ostby in Billings on May 29, 2015, and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • LEVI MICHAEL BIERWILER, a 39-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine. If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, BIERWILER faces 40 years in prison, $5,000,000 in fines and four years’ supervised release. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations. PACER Case Reference. 15-53
  • JAMES WARD PRICE, a 29-year-old resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and distribution of methamphetamine. If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, PRICE faces life in prison, $5,000,000 in fines and five years’ supervised release. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation HIDTA and Homeland Security Investigations. PACER Case Reference. 15-58
  • HOPE MARGIE RATHBUN, a 36-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, RATHBUN faces life in prison, $10,000,000 in fines and five years’ supervised release. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation HIDTA and Homeland Security Investigations. PACER Case Reference. 15-59

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Lynch in Missoula on May 28, 2015, and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • BRUCE EDWARD DENNISON, a 52-year-old resident of Bozeman, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession with intent to distribute heroin. If convicted of the most serious charge contained in the indictment, DENNISON faces 40 years in prison, $5,000,000 in fines and four years’ supervised release. The case was investigated by the Missouri River Drug Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. PACER Case Reference. 15-25
  • MARK DAVID SMITH, a 37-year-old resident of Bozeman, appeared on charges of possession of a firearm not registered in the national firearms registration and transfer record. If convicted of the charge contained in the indictment, SMITH faces 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and three years’ supervised release. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Montana State University Police Department. PACER Case Reference. 15-23

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Johnston in Great Falls on May 26, 2015 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • DARIN LEE MILLER, a 42-year-old resident of Havre, appeared on charges of income tax evasion. If convicted of the most serious charge contained in the indictment, MILLER faces five years in prison, $250,000 in fines and three years’ supervised release. The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. PACER Case Reference. 15-32

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Ostby in Billings on May 26, 2015 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • ELIJAH LEE ROCK, a 32-year-old resident of Hardin, appeared on charges of assault resulting in substantial bodily injury of a dating partner, assault with a dangerous weapon, use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, robbery involving motor vehicle, and use and brandish a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, ROCK faces life in prison, $250,000 in fines and five years’ supervised release. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. PACER Case Reference. 15-60

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Ostby in Billings on May 20, 2015 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • GORDON DEAN SMALL, a 43-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. If convicted of the most serious charge contained in the indictment, SMALL faces life in prison, $10,000,000 in fines and five years’ supervised release. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Billings Police Department. PACER Case Reference. 15-48

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 so that you stay current and not miss any important developments in the case.

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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