The Wind River Inter-Tribal Council is aware that Tribal Court Judge Terri Smith has been charged in federal court with drug-related charges, according to a press release on Wednesday.

The council does not have a comment on the circumstances of the case, but it wants to assure the public that there are no interruptions of service.

Smith, an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, heard the charges against her and pleaded not guilty during her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Teresa McKee in Lander last week. She was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond.

Terri Smith. Wind River Tribal Court
Terri Smith. Wind River Tribal Court

The indictment says using a communication facility in a conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison. Distribution of cocaine is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Smith allegedly sent three text messages on April 28, 2018, to a co-conspirator to distribute oxycodone. On June 26, 2018, she allegedly distributed cocaine., according to the indictment.

The indictment did not give any further details about the investigation.

Her next court appearance is scheduled before U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson in Cheyenne on June 3.

In the press release, the Fort Washakie-based Inter-Tribal Council said it is ensuring the Wind River Tribal Court is fully staffed and all court matters are functioning during the case

"As always, we believe that a Tribal Court is the foundation of a law abiding reservation community and anything that could threaten that is of great concert to us. We plan to communicate any new information regarding the tribal court to the public as it becomes available."

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