DOJ seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Montana

For Immediate Release

Friday, June 9, 2017
Contact: Keri Leggett

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 Lynch in Missoula on June 6, 2017 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • NOLAN DAVID BARBISAN, a 28-year-old resident of Bozeman, appeared on charges of felon in possession of firearms, false statement during firearms transaction, and possession of an unregistered silencer.  If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, BARBISAN faces 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and 3 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office.  PACER Case Reference.  17-09
  • RANDALL ALAN FRANZ, a 58-year-old resident of Sandpoint Idaho, appeared on charges of concealment of assets in bankruptcy, false oath or account, and wire fraud.  If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, FRANZ faces 20 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and 5 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  PACER Case Reference.  17-18
  • WALTER JAMES MANULA, a 64-year-old resident of Butte, appeared on charges of felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.  If convicted of the charge contained in the indictment, MANULA faces 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and 3 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.   PACER Case Reference.  17-01
  • WILLIAM KENT ROSS, a 67-year-old resident of Whitehall, appeared on charges of felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.  If convicted of the charge contained in the indictment, ROSS faces 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and 3 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  PACER Case Reference.  17-09

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Cavan in Billings on June 2, 2017 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • JEANETTE LAMBERT SCHACHT, a 55-year-old resident of Laurel, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and maintain drug – involved premises.  If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, SCHACHT faces life in prison, $10,000,000 in fines and 5 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the FBI Task Force.  PACER Case Reference.  17-65
  • RAYMOND EDWARD SCHACHT, a 57-year-old resident of Laurel, appeared on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and maintain drug – involved premises.  If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, SCHACHT faces life in prison, $10,000,000 in fines and 5 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the FBI Task Force.  PACER Case Reference.  17-65
  • RONALD ANDREW SMITH, a 35-year-old resident of Redwood City, California, appeared on charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  If convicted of the charge contained in the indictment, SMITH faces life in prison, $10,000,000 in fines and 5 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Montana Highway Patrol, and Park County Sheriff’s Office.  PACER Case Reference.  17-55
  • ISAIAH ELGIE THOMAS, a 29-year-old resident of Miles City, appeared on charges of felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, and possession of a stolen firearm.  If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, THOMAS faces 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and 3 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  PACER Case Reference.  17-50
  • JAIRO SEBASTIAN VELA-DIAZ, a 31-year-old resident of Grenada, appeared on charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  If convicted of the charge contained in the indictment, VELA-DIAZ faces life in prison, $10,000,000 in fines and 5 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Montana Highway Patrol, and Park County Sheriff’s Office.  PACER Case Reference.  17-55

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Cavan in Billings on May 31, 2017 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • SHAWN MICHAEL WENTZ, a 26-year-old resident of Bozeman, appeared on charges of receipt of child pornography.  If convicted of the charge contained in the indictment, WENTZ faces 20 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and lifetime supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations. PACER Case Reference.  17-24

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Cavan in Billings on May 30, 2017 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • CHAD RUSSELL MATTFELDT, a 42-year-old resident of Livingston, appeared on charges of felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.  If convicted of the most serious charge contained in the indictment, MATTFELDT faces 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and 3 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Park County Sheriff’s Office.  PACER Case Reference.  17-63

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Cavan in Billings on May 25, 2017 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • TERRY LEE FELLER, a 58-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on charges of felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a stolen firearm.  If convicted of the most serious charge contained in the indictment, FELLER faces 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and 3 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. PACER Case Reference.  17-63
  • VERNON RAY HENSON, a 57-year-old resident of Colville, Washington, appeared on charges of felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  If convicted of the most serious charge contained in the indictment, HENSON faces 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and 3 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. PACER Case Reference.  17-4
Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Cavan in Billings on May 24, 2017 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:
  • MICHAEL LEE LIRA, a 52-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, LIRA faces life in prison, $10,000,000 in fines and 5 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations, Russell Country Drug Task Force, and the Great Falls Police Department.  PACER Case Reference.  17-34

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Johnston in Great Falls on May 23, 2017 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • BENGAMIN RAY YELLOW OWL, a 25-year-old resident of Browning, appeared on charges of aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a minor, and distribution of a controlled substance to a person under 21.  If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, YELLOW OWL faces life in prison, $2,000,000 in fines and lifetime supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  PACER Case Reference.  17-32

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Cavan in Billings on May 23, 2017 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • VIOLET JOANN AGNES BIRDINGROUND, a 22-year-old resident of Crow Agency, appeared on charges of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  If convicted of the charge contained in the indictment, BIRDINGROUND faces 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and 3 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  PACER Case Reference.  17-37
  • TODD THOMAS MALMSTROM, a 52-year-old resident of Lockwood, appeared on charges of felon in possession of a firearm.  If convicted of the charge contained in the indictment, MALMSTROM faces 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and 3 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  PACER Case Reference.  17-54

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Cavan in Billings on May 19, 2017 and entering pleas of Not Guilty were:

  • EMMANUEL ARCE-GAXIOLA, a 28-year-old resident of Rock Springs, Wyoming, appeared on charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and distribution of methamphetamine.  If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, ARCE-GAXIOLA faces 20 years in prison, $1,000,000 in fines and 3 years supervised release.  The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Eastern Montana HIDTA.  PACER Case Reference.  16-113

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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