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Former tribal court judge disbarred following drug conviction
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Former tribal court judge disbarred following drug conviction

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A former Wyoming tribal court judge has been disbarred following her conviction for a pair of drug felonies in 2019, the Wyoming State Bar confirmed Wednesday.

Terri Smith served as chief judge of the Wind River Tribal Court in 2018 and 2019. In August 2019, she pleaded guilty to delivering cocaine and conspiring to deliver oxycodone as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. She was sentenced in October 2020 to six months in prison, six months of house arrest and three years of supervised release.

In January, the bar confirmed the Arapahoe judge’s law license had been suspended in the wake of her conviction. The association’s Board of Professional Responsibility finalized her disbarment on Wednesday. Smith had not practiced law since May 2019, when she submitted her resignation as chief judge.

According to the Department of Justice, Smith had gotten drugs in Utah and sold them in Wyoming, including on the Wind River Reservation. The FBI, the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs all investigated the case.

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Smith’s twin sister, Jerri Smith, was also convicted and sentenced to four years and three months in prison and four years of supervised release for her role in distributing the drugs.

According to an order of disbarment issued Wednesday, Smith admitted in court to helping her sister with oxycodone transactions and to selling cocaine. Court documents state that all the crimes in her indictment were committed while she was chief judge on the tribal court.

The order states Smith had no prior criminal history and was determined to be dependent on the drugs. She has reportedly been receiving treatment since July 2019.

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