Former Wind River Reservation Judge and Her Sister Sentenced for Drug Crimes
The former chief tribal court judge of the Wind River Indian Reservation and her sister on Tuesday were sentenced to prison for drug distribution conspiracy and related charges, according to federal court records.
Terri Smith, 35, of Arapahoe will serve six months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, according to the sentence handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson in Cheyenne.
The judge also ordered Smith to pay $500 in community restitution and a $200 special assessment.
Johnson sentenced Jerri Smith, 35, of Salt Lake City to four years three months imprisonment to be followed by four years of supervised release. She also was ordered to pay $400 in community restitution and a $300 special assessment.
In August 2019, Terri Smith pleaded guilty to single counts of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and distribution of cocaine. One count of using a communication facility to commit a drug felony was dismissed at her sentencing.
In a separate hearing in August 2019, Jerri Smith pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. During Tuesday's sentencing Jerri Smith also sentenced for her role in a separate case for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
According to a news release from the Wyoming U.S. Attorney's office, agents with the FBI, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation began investigating suspected drug activity after traffic stops by the Wyoming Highway Patrol led to the discovery of quantities of methamphetamine, oxycodone, and cocaine.
Law enforcement determined Jerri Smith and Terri Smith were obtaining oxycodone in Utah and were selling it in Fremont County and on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The investigation also determined Jerri Smith was obtaining methamphetamine and cocaine in Utah and distributing it in Wyoming.
Terri Smith sworn in as the chief tribal judge on the Wind River Indian Reservation in early 2018. She resigned from her position after being charged.
Another defendant in this case, Thomas Brown, pleaded guilty in July 2019 to one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. He was sentenced in October 2019 to time served followed by two years of supervised release.
In a prepared statement Wyoming U.S. Attorney Mark Klaassen said no one is above the law including those in positions of public trust.
“Instances of public officials being caught up in criminal activity are thankfully rare in Wyoming, but we will remain vigilant to ensure that all citizens are treated equally under the law and held accountable, regardless of their position," Klasseen said.
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