The two men who allegedly robbed a  casino, carjacked a family from Washington State and fired shots at pursuing law enforcement personnel last Friday morning appeared in U.S. Justice Court on Tuesday.

photo from MCSO
Nick West

U.S. District Court Judge Jeremiah Lynch interviewed both suspects, 36 year-old Thomas Dempsey and 38 year-old Nicholas West. Both men were charged with five identical felonies. Robbery affecting commerce, carjacking, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Dempsey, through his court-appointed attorney, waived his right to a preliminary hearing, while West's attorney told Judge Lynch that his client wanted more time to decide the matter.

Both men were placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshall's Service and will be held without bond until their next court appearance.

In the courtroom were Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott, Captain Tony Rio and Public Information Officer Brenda Bassett. Before the court hearing, McDermott expressed gratitude that the suspects were apprehended less than 24 hours after the robbery and carjacking incident.

Carjacking is a federal offense that carries a sentence of from 15 years to a possible life term in prison.


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