A fourth man was arraigned in federal court Thursday in connection with a sex and drug-trafficking ring in Billings.
Mario Juan Drake, 31, pleaded not guilty to six counts in a 25-count indictment, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said in a news release.
Drake pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking of a minor, two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.
If convicted of the most serious crime, Drake faces a minimum mandatory 15 years to life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to life of supervised release.
The indictment alleges that from about 2018 through 2019, the four men became involved in the distribution of illegal narcotics and in commercial sex and sex trafficking of a minor in Billings and other Montana cities.