Wyoming Supreme Court disbar former tribal court judge sentenced for drug trafficking on Wind River Reservation - Casper, WY Oil City News
Oil City News Logo

Wyoming Supreme Court disbar former tribal court judge sentenced for drug trafficking on Wind River Reservation

(File photo, Trevor T. Trujillo; Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Supreme Court has disbarred attorney Terri V. Smith of Arapaho, Wyoming, the Wyoming State Bar said on Wednesday.

“The order of disbarment stemmed from a 2019 felony drug arrest which ended with Smith pleading guilty to two felonies and being sentenced to six months in prison, to be followed by six months of home confinement, to be followed by three years of supervised release,” the Wyoming State Bar said. “Smith stipulated to the disbarment, which was presented to the Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR).”

“In approving the BPR’s recommendation for an order of disbarment, the Wyoming Supreme Court ordered Smith to pay an administrative fee in the amount of $750.00 and costs of $50.00 to the Wyoming State Bar.”

Article continues below...

T order of disbarment is available online.

Smith, 35, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson on Oct. 6, 2020 for “conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and distribution of cocaine,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming.

“She received six months of imprisonment, to be followed by thirty-six months of supervised release, and ordered to pay community restitution in the amount of $500.00 and a $200.00 special assessment,” the release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming states.

She was sentenced to six months imprisonment to be followed by 36 months of supervised release. She was formerly a Wind River Indian Reservation Chief Tribal Court judge.

Smith’s sister, Jerri Lee Smith, 35, was sentenced for “conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.”

“She received fifty-one months of imprisonment, to be followed by forty-eight months of supervised release, and ordered to pay community restitution in the amount of $400.00 and a $300.00 special assessment,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming said.

The investigation into suspected drug activity and trafficking in Fremont County and the Wind River Reservation began in 2018 “after several traffic stops by the Wyoming Highway Patrol led to the discovery of quantities of methamphetamine, oxycodone, and cocaine,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming.

Agents with the FBI, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation participated in the investigation.

“A variety of investigative resources were used to determine that Jerri Smith and Terri Smith had been obtaining oxycodone in Utah and were selling them in Fremont County and on the Wind River Indian Reservation,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming said. “Additionally the investigation uncovered that Jerri Smith was also obtaining methamphetamine and cocaine in Utah then distributing and selling it in Wyoming.  At the time of the investigation, Terri Smith was the Chief Tribal Judge on the Wind River Indian Reservation. She later resigned from her position.”

When the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming announced the sentencings in Oct. 2020, FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said: “Today’s sentencing of Tribal Judge Terri Smith and her sister is a step forward in identifying public officials and private citizens who commit federal crimes and victimize the community members of the Wind River Indian Reservation. Public officials who engage in violations of federal law, to include drug trafficking, erodes the public’s confidence in government. Investigating these individuals is one of the FBI’s top criminal priorities. The FBI Denver Division would like to extend its appreciation to the Rocky Mountain Safe Trails Task Force, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Wyoming for their invaluable assistance in this investigation.”