Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

TRIBAL JUSTICE NEWS - August 9, 2013

Public Safety Initiatives and Special Announcements

North Dakota U.S. Attorney's Office Host Third Annual Consultation Conference (Bismarck, N.D.)

U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon announced that the North Dakota U.S. Attorney's Office Third Annual Tribal Consultation Conference was held on Aug. 1, 2013 at the James Henry Community Center on the campus of United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, N.D. The conference was held to bring together tribal leaders and law enforcement leaders from across the state to discuss how the U.S. Attorney's Office can help improve public safety in tribal communities in North Dakota. Tribal concerns were heard in breakout sessions on pressing issues such as domestic violence and juvenile justice. Remarks were also given by tribal leaders, federal enforcement partners, the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court, Ralph R. Erickson, the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission and child protection professionals.

"We are pleased to host out consultation conference with the Tribes in North Dakota," U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon said before the event. "Open lines of communication between the Tribes and the U.S. Attorney's Office is key to our Anti-Violence Strategy for Tribal Communities. This annual conference allows all parties interested in improving public safety on the reservations in North Dakota the chance to discuss the issue and identify areas for cooperation and improvement."

* More information: http://www.justice.gov/usao/nd/news/2013/07-29-13-TCC.html

Breaking News Spotlight

Montana U.S. Attorney's Office Guardians Project Unseals the Po'Ka Grant Indictment (Billings, Mont.)

On Aug. 8, 2013, U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter announced the unsealing of a federal indictment resulting from the Guardians Project, an initiative created in 2011 that combats corruption and theft in the administration of federal grants and programs in Indian Country. The indictment concludes an extensive two-year investigation and alleges that six individuals committed a variety of federal crimes based on their various roles in administering and reporting on the Blackfeet Po'Ka Project. The Po'ka Project was developed to help troubled and at-risk Blackfeet youth and was to be a reservation-wide children's mental health system. The indictment alleges 21 separate counts of wire fraud, together with charges of conspiracy, theft, embezzlement and money laundering. The indictment alleges that all of the defendants had a role in defrauding the United States and the Blackfeet by embezzling monies from the Po'Ka grant through various schemes and deceptions.

"The indictment unsealed today - the Po'Ka Grant Indictment - represents just one of the many steps that the Department of Justice and the Montana United States Attorney's Office will take in response to the concerns raised by leaders in Montana's Indian communities regarding honesty and integrity in tribal government and governance," U.S. Cotter said.

* More information about the Guardians Project: http://www.justice.gov/usao/mt/pressreleases/20130806091452.html

Significant Criminal Prosecutions

ARIZONA

Whiteriver Man Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona)

On Aug. 5, 2013, U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo announced that Christopher James, of Whiteriver, Ariz., was found guilty of two counts of sexual abuse. The defendant is being held pending sentencing which is set for Nov. 4, 2013. The evidence showed on Aug. 3, 2011, on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, James sexually abused a victim who was physically incapable of communicating an unwillingness to participate in a sex act, as a result of physical disability, as well as cognitive and developmental delay. A conviction for sexual abuse carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine or both.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/press_releases/news.html

MINNESOTA

Redby Man Indicted for Assaulting Others with a Tire Iron (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota)

On July 31, 2013, U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones announced that Ryan Devin Ravensborg, of Redby, Minn., was charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury. The indictment alleges that on May 26, 2013, Ravensborg assaulted two victims with a metal object while on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. If convicted, Ravensborg faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each count.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mn/ravensborgindicted.html

Red Lake Man Pleads Guilty to Running Another Vehicle off the Road (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota)

On July 26, 2013, U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones announced that Tony Lee Lussier, of Red Lake, Minn., pleaded guilty to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. In his plea agreement, Lussier admitted that on May 12, 2013, while he was driving a motor vehicle, he chased another vehicle containing four people. Lussier crashed into the other vehicle, causing it to roll into the ditch. Then, Lussier attempted to assault the other vehicle's occupants before returning to his vehicle and driving away. For his crime, Lussier faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mn/tonylussierplea.html

Two Red Lake Women Indicted for Kidnapping (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota)

On July 26, 2013, U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones announced that Melanie Rose Benais and Ronalda Myra Smith, both of Red Lake, Minn., were charged with one count of kidnapping. The indictment alleges that on June 13, 2013, the defendants kidnapped another person while on the Red Lake Indian Reservation and held that person against their will. If convicted, the defendants face a potential maximum penalty of life in prison.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mn/benaisindicted.html

MONTANA

Crow Agency Man Sentenced for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana)

On Aug. 7, 2013, U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter announced that Delbert Dean Spear, of Crow Agency, Mont. and an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe was sentenced to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised released in connection with his guilty plea to assault with a dangerous weapon. On Oct. 6, 2012, Spear admitted to stabbing a victim outside of Crow Agency, within the exterior boundaries of the Crow Indian Reservation.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mt/pressreleases/20130807105703.html

Browning Man Sentenced for Sexual Abuse (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana)

On July 26, 2013, U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter announced that Hiram Evans, a resident of Browning, Mont. and an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe, was sentenced to 87 months in prison concurrent to a prior sentence and five years of supervised released in connection with his guilty plea to sexual abuse. On July 27, 2009, Evans sexually assaulted a female victim within the exterior boundaries of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. When questioned, Evans first denied assaulting the victim but finally admitted that he had although he denied using any force.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mt/pressreleases/20130726163344.html

Browning Man Found Guilty for Multiple Counts of Assault (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana)

On July 25, 2013, U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter announced that Freddy Wayne Jimenez, a resident of Browning, Mont., was found guilty of six counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury and four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon. Sentencing is set for Oct. 22, 2013 and he is currently detained. In 2012, Jimenez beat and strangled his wife on two occasions. Over a period of years, Jimenez also tortured his children with various methods and eventually admitted to assaulting his wife and children in a letter. Jimenez faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release on each count.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mt/pressreleases/20130726162949.html

NEW MEXICO

Crownpoint Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Involuntary Manslaughter (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico)

On Aug. 7, 2013, U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that Sherie Rena Pete, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Iyanbito, N.M., pleaded guilty to a felony information charging her with involuntary manslaughter. Pete was arrested on May 14, 2013 on a criminal complaint charging her with involuntary manslaughter based on a single motor vehicle crash on May 5, 2013, in Iyanbito, which is located on the Navajo Indian Reservation that resulted in the death of a three year-old child.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/nd/news/news.html

Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico)

On Aug. 6, 2013, U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that Tyrell Elliot Frank, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Frank will be sentenced to 41 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Frank has been in federal custody since his arrest on April 1, 2012.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/nd/news/news.html

Beclabito Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Involuntary Manslaughter (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico)

On Aug. 1, 2013, U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that Stanford Benally, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Beclabito, N.M., was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his involuntary manslaughter conviction. Benally was arrested on Sept. 11, 2012 on an indictment charging him with second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Benally pleaded guilty on March 22, 2013 to an involuntary manslaughter charge and admitted that on May 19, 2012, he killed his daughter by negligently failing to provide care or seeking medical assistance for her and admitted his criminal act took place on the Navajo Indian Reservation.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/nd/news/news.html

NORTH DAKOTA

Belcourt Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Federal Officer (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota)

On July 26, 2013, U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that Cameron J. Gooden, of Belcourt, N.D., pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting a resisting a federal officer. On Dec. 24, 2012, a correctional officer at the Turtle Mountain Correctional Facility in Belcourt attempted to remove Gooden from the shower area. Gooden slammed a metal shower door on the officer pinning him, causing the officer to sustain a rib fracture. The charge of assaulting and resisting a federal officer carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/nd/news/2013/07-26-13-Gooden%20Plea.html

SOUTH DAKOTA

Eagle Butte Man Sentenced for Sexually Abusing Person Incapable of Consenting (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota)

On Aug. 9, 2013, U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Frank Hill, of Eagle Butte, S.D., convicted of Sexually Abusing a Person Incapable of Consenting was sentenced to 96 months of custody and five years of supervised release. Hill was indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 16, 2012, and pleaded guilty to the offense on May 14, 2013. The conviction arose from an incident in November 2009, when Hill sexually assaulted an adult female victim who was sleeping at her home in Eagle Butte.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/sd/news.html

Lower Brule Man Sentenced for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota)

On Aug. 6, 2013, U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Irvin Yazzie, of Lower Brule, S.D., was convicted of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and sentenced to 17 months of imprisonment and 18 months of supervised release. The charge stems from an incident where Yazzie and his girlfriend began arguing about their relationship. During the course of the argument, Yazzie assaulted the victim by striking her with his fists and an aluminum pole. The victim suffered bruising as a result of the assault. Yazzie was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 13, 2013, and pleaded guilty on April 30, 2013.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/sd/pressreleases/Pierre-2013-08-06-Yazzie.html

Waubay Man Found Guilty of Murdering Daughter (U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota)

On Aug. 2, 2013, U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Mario Contreras, of Waubay, S.D., was convicted of Second Degree Murder and Assault resulting in Serious Bodily Injury. Contreras was indicted by a federal grand jury for the charges on Aug. 14, 2012. The victim was murdered by her father on Jan. 9, 2012. The Assistant Medical Examiner of Ramsey County, Minn. concluded that the cause of death was a homicide. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine or both; five years of supervised release; and a $100 special assessment. The murder charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison. Contreras was indicted by a federal grand jury for the charges on Aug. 14, 2012.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/sd/pressreleases/SF-2013-08-02-Contreras.html

WYOMING

Northern Arapaho Man Sentenced for Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury (U.S. Attorney for the District of Wyoming)

On Aug. 8, 2013, U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Crofts announced that Shawn Antelope, Jr., an enrolled Northern Arapaho Tribal member, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson to 36 months imprisonment, three years of supervised release and a $100.00 special assessment. Antelope, Jr. previously pled guilty to the offense of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/wy/news.html

Northern Arapaho Man Sentenced for Abusive Sexual Contact of a Minor (U.S. Attorney for the District of Wyoming)

On Aug. 6, 2013, U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Crofts announced that Leo Lone Bear III, an enrolled Northern Arapaho Tribal member, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl to 168 months imprisonment, a life time period of supervised release, a $400.00 fine and a $100.00 special assessment. Lone Bear previously pleaded guilty to the offense of sexual abuse of a minor.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/wy/news.html

Northern Arapaho Man Sentenced For Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Use and Carrying of a Firearm During and In Relation to a Crime of Violence (U.S. Attorney for the District of Wyoming)

On Aug. 6, 2013, U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Crofts announced that Bryson Brown, an enrolled Northern Arapaho Tribal member, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl to 96 months imprisonment, five years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $440.87 and a $200.00 special assessment. The charges stemmed from an incident which occurred on February 15, 2013, on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/wy/news.html

 

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