Felony charges being pursued related to Dakota Access Pipeline protests
MANDAN, N.D. - Morton County authorities are investigating multiple protest activities in an area north of Almont that occurred Wednesday morning. Law enforcement arrested three individuals for felony reckless endangerment for being attached to construction equipment. Officers also arrested two other men for C felony conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment and other misdemeanor charges for their involvement in assisting unlawful protesters in attaching to equipment. Reckless Endangerment carries the maximum punishment of five years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
In addition, officers made a traffic stop on County Road 86 near the construction area. The driver was arrested for conspiracy to commit obstruction of a government function. Officers say they witnessed the driver transporting protesters. During an inventory search of the vehicle, officers found paint and mechanisms protesters are using to attach themselves to construction equipment. Authorities have impounded the van.
Law enforcement also arrested two men after they were connected to trespassing on another construction site. They were found walking in the area. They were both arrested for conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment, conspiracy to commit obstruction of a government function, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. One was arrested for criminal facilitation. The other person was arrested for conspiracy to commit criminal facilitation and both were arrested for criminal trespass.