TRIBAL JUSTICE NEWS - September 23, 2011- October 6, 2011
Defendant charged in Triple Homicide on Crow Reservation (U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana)
Sheldon Bernard Chase, an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe, was arrested in Spokane, Washington on the evening of Wednesday, October 5, on a complaint and arrest warrant from Montana which charged three counts of First Degree Murder in the deaths of 80-year-old Gloria Sarah Goes Ahead Cummins; 21-year-old Levon F. Driftwood; and 20-year old Rueben Charles Jefferson. The defendant appeared in front of a Magistrate Judge in Spokane, Washington on Thursday, October 6. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Office and will be transported back to Montana for further proceedings.
Santa Clara Pueblo Man Receives 34-Month Prison Sentence for Federal Child Sex Abuse Conviction and Supervised Release Violation (U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico)
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that Steven Henry Sisneros, 27, was sentenced to 30-months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for a child sexual abuse conviction. Sisneros was also sentenced to an additional four months in prison for violating his supervised release on a federal conviction for aggravated sexual abuse, for a total sentence of 34 months. Sisneros will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence. Sisneros, an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Santa Clara in Rio Arriba County, was arrested on March 26, 2011 based on a criminal complaint alleging sexual abuse of a minor in Indian Country.
Taggers Ordered to Pay for Damage Caused to Archeological Site (U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona)
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona announced that Johnathan Lopez, 23, Andrew Magallanes, 21, Robert Norton, 23, Cynthia Norton, 20, and Vilma Curiel, 22, all of Sahuarita, Ariz., were sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Marshall to five years supervised probation, and each is required to pay $7,848 in restitution. All pleaded guilty on June 6, 2011 to Defacing an Archeological Resource. In March 2009, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger observed that an archeological site had been damaged by graffiti when he was patrolling land west of Sahuarita. An investigation led to the prosecution of the five defendants. The damage done was estimated to exceed $40,000. In addition, a juvenile involved was required to pay $4,000 in restitution.
Fort Totten Woman Sentenced for Selling Meth on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation (U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota)
U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on October 3, 2011, Kenzie McKay, of Fort Totten, North Dakota, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Erickson on a charge of distribution of a controlled substance. McKay, 36, was sentenced to four months at a recovery and re-entry center and four months of home electronic monitoring to be followed by three years of supervised release. McKay pleaded guilty on July 5, 2011, to selling five bags of methamphetamine at a church parking lot on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation in January of 2010.
Zuni Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Cocaine Trafficking Offense (U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico)
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that Devon Wyaco, 20, of the Pueblo of Zuni, N.M., pleaded guilty to count one of a three-count indictment charging him with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. At sentencing, Wyaco faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Mandaree Man Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse (U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota)
U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on September 29, 2011, Norman Standish, 38, of Mandaree, N.D., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of child abuse in Indian Country. On April 15, 2010, Standish was caring for a two-month-old foster child. Standish shook the child, which resulted in an injury to the child’s head and brain. The child required hospitalization for several weeks. The charge of child abuse in Indian country carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Man Sentenced for Murder on Navajo Reservation (U.S. Attorney for the District for New Mexico)
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that on September 26, 2011, U.S. District Judge James O. Browning sentenced Gary Redhorse Begay to 14 years in prison and five years of supervised release in connection with a conviction for second degree murder. Begay, 26, admitted to shooting and killing a male victim on December 17, 2010 on the Navajo Reservation in Shiprock, N.M.
Man Sentenced for Home Invasion on Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation (U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan)
U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced that a 23-year-old resident of Mount Pleasant, Michigan was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington to 63 months in custody followed by three years of supervised release, after having pled guilty on May 25, 2011 to home invasion in the first degree. In January 2011, Richard Chamberlain broke into a home located on the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation in Isabella County, Michigan. Chamberlain committed a larceny and a pointed a gun at people who were lawfully present.
Man Indicted for Assaulting a Woman on the Bois Forte Indian Reservation (U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota)
U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones announced a federal indictment was unsealed charging a 53-year-old man in connection with the domestic assault of a woman on Dec. 19, 2009, while on the Bois Forte Indian Reservation. The indictment, which was filed on September 20, 2011, charges Chris Neil Ferguson with one count of domestic assault by a habitual offender. Since this domestic assault by a habitual offender legislation was passed by the U.S. Congress, this is the first such prosecution in the District of Minnesota. The indictment was unsealed following Ferguson’s initial appearance in federal court.
Man Sentenced for Embezzlement and Theft from an Indian Tribal Organization (U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma)
U.S. Attorney Mark F. Green announced that Ronald Dean Scott, 45, of Ada, Okla., was sentenced to three years of probation for Embezzlement and Theft in excess of $1,000 belonging to the Chickasaw Nation. Charges arose from an investigation by the Chickasaw Nation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Scott was indicted in April 2011 and pleaded guilty in June, 2011.
St. Francis Man Pleads Guilty to Two Counts of Involuntary Manslaughter (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Christopher L. Two Lance, 28, of St. Francis, S.D., appeared before U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange on Sept. 27, 2011, and pled guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter. The maximum penalty upon conviction for each count is eight years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both. The charges stem from an incident that took place on the evening of July 6, 2011, when Two Lance was driving a motor vehicle in excess of the posted 65 mile per hour speed limit and was under the influence of alcohol. Two Lance was observed driving recklessly, and at approximately 99 miles per hour, before he ran into the victims’ vehicle. Two people died as a result of the collision.
Shiprock Man Sentenced to 150 Months in Prison for Federal Aggravated Child Sexual Abuse Conviction (U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico)
The U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico announced that Michael Crosby, 54, was sentenced to 12 ½ years in prison for aggravated sexual abuse. Crosby, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., will be on supervised release for 10 years after he completes his prison sentence, and will be required to register as a sex offender. Crosby was arrested on Feb. 8, 2011 on a criminal complaint, and subsequently was indicted on March 9, 2011 in a three-count indictment charging him with committing the following offenses on the Navajo Indian Reservation: (1) abusive sexual contact of a child under the age of 12 years; (2) aggravated sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16 years; and (3) raping a child under the age of 16 years.
Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge (U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico)
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico announced that on September 23, 2011, in federal court in Albuquerque, Aero Nez, 23, of Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty to a federal assault resulting in serious bodily injury charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Under his plea agreement, Nez will be sentenced to 18 months’ in prison to be followed by up to three years of supervised release. Nez, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, has been in federal custody since his arrest on May 18, 2011 and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Former Navajo Nation Police Officer Sentenced in Connection with the Beating of Arizona Man (U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona)
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona announced that former Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety Police Officer Christine Lillie Thinn, 36, has been sentenced to six months in prison for a civil rights conviction in connection with the beating of an inmate on Jan. 1, 2009. Thinn was also sentenced to serve six months of home confinement following her release. According to evidence presented at trial in June 2011, the inmate was under arrest and had been in police custody for an hour when Thinn transported him approximately 30 miles to the Tuba City, Ariz., jail. After arriving at the jail, Thinn sprayed the victim’s face with pepper spray, pulled him from the patrol vehicle, and then repeatedly kicked and stomped the non-resisting arrestee as he lay on the ground.
Former General Manager of Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino Sentenced for Defrauding Casino (U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California)
U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Jeff Livingston, 51, of Las Vegas to 24 months in prison for his conviction on six counts of mail fraud and three counts of theft committed during his employment as the general manager of Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino. The evidence at trial showed that Livingston, Chukchansi’s general manger, executed a scheme to defraud Chukchansi by making a series of personal purchases using his business credit card and other Chukchansi funds. Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino is owned and operated by the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe in Madera County.
Winnebago Man Sentenced For Assault With A Dangerous Weapon (U.S. Attorney for the District of Nebraska)
U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Cody Chilson, 19, of Winnebago, Nebraska., was sentenced on October 4, 2011, to 37 months in prison by Chief United States District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon, for his conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon. Chilson will serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison. The victim in the case was stabbed by Chilson as the victim attempted to pull Chilson away from his friend during an altercation. The victim was unarmed at the time of the assault.