TRIBAL JUSTICE NEWS
February 15, 2013
Contact Wyn Hornbuckle, Office of Public Affairs (202- 514-2007)
Public Safety Initiatives and Special Announcements
U.S. Attorneys Timothy Q. Purdon and Sanford C. Coats to Lead Attorney General’s Native American Issues Subcommittee (Washington, D.C.)
On Feb. 5, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the appointment of U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota Timothy Q. Purdon as chair of the Native American Issues Subcommittee (NAIS) of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys (AGAC). Attorney General Holder also appointed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma Sanford C. Coats to serve as vice chair.
“The Native American Issues Subcommittee, the oldest subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, is vital to the department’s mission in Indian Country to build and sustain safe and secure communities for future generations,” said Attorney General Holder. “I am confident that U.S. Attorneys Purdon and Coats have the expertise and dedication to lead this important group as we work to fulfill the department’s role in protecting and serving this country’s first Americans.”
Justice Department Holds First National Indian Country Training On Investigation and Prosecution of Non-Fatal Strangulation Offenses (Columbia, S.C.)
The Department of Justice’s National Indian Country Training Initiative (NICTI) partnered with the National Strangulation Training Institute to deliver the first-ever national Indian Country training on the investigation and prosecution of non-fatal strangulation and suffocation offenses. The training, held from Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, 2013, drew attendance from over 50 federal and tribal participants, representing 17 tribes, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The training, held at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, S.C., provided an in-depth examination of the mechanics of strangulation and suffocation from a medical, legal and law enforcement perspective.
“Strangulation has been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence and sexual assault. Expert training in this area is critical as external signs of strangulation are absent in over half of all victims. Death can occur without any external marks at all,” said Leslie A. Hagen, National Indian Country Training Coordinator.
Navajo Nation Dedicates New Justice Center (U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona)
On Feb. 15, 2013, United States Attorney for the District of Arizona John S. Leonardo delivered the keynote address at the Navajo Nation’s dedication of its new Multi-purpose Justice Center in Tuba City, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation. The Justice Center was built with $74 million in federal funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), in addition to Navajo Nation funding, and will house a new, secure detention facility with 240 beds in addition to offices of the Navajo Nation department of Public Safety and a branch of the Navajo Courts. The Navajo Nation and ARRA also funded similar facilities in Kayenta (Arizona) and Crownpoint (New Mexico).
In Focus: District of Arizona
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona Engages in Direct Collaboration with Tribal Communities to Help Victims of Sexual Assault
Courtesy of John Tuchi, Chief Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney
The United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the District of Arizona has dedicated its Tribal Affairs group and several of its violent crimes prosecutors to work collaboratively with Indian Health Services (IHS), tribal law enforcement and public health officials, and social services agencies to develop a new protocol for providing care to victims of sexual assaults in a way that respects the victims’ rights, is sensitive to the trauma they have experienced, allows for the gathering of physical evidence of the crime, and promotes law enforcement follow-up and proficient investigation of such offenses.
For the past year, USAO personnel have participated in working group meetings with the above entities and the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime to formulate a written policy that would govern IHS service areas and individual facilities when they encounter a person who either advises they have been sexually assaulted or who presents with physical or other characteristics of such an assault. The office intends to continue its participation in this project until the protocols and policy are complete and disseminated, and then to participate in training of personnel affected by the policy.
In concert with this effort, USAO personnel are regularly providing training to nurses and other health care professionals who provide services to sex assault victims in Indian Country on the evidentiary requirements of a federal sex crime prosecution. The training is presented as part of Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) training suite and is intended to educate these first responders to methods of evidence gathering, preservation, tracking and transfer that will give prosecutors the best chance at a successful prosecution should all other evidence of the offense be provable.
Tribal SAUSA Program in District of Arizona USAO Continues to Train Indian Country Prosecutors
Courtesy of John Tuchi, Chief Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney
Starting in 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) has solicited the participation of all interested tribal governments in the Tribal Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) Program. It entered into Memoranda of Agreement with nine tribal governments – the Hopi Tribe, the Colorado River Indian Tribes, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the Gila River Indian Community, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Yavapai-Apache Nation and the Tohono O’odham Nation – for the appointment and training of one or more tribal prosecutors from each participating tribe as a SAUSA.
Since November 2011, 10 Tribal SAUSAs from six participating tribes have attended a week-long training program in the USAO where they were trained on all aspects of federal jurisdiction, criminal law, federal procedure, and practice expectations in federal court; shadowed experienced Indian Country AUSAs to grand jury and court proceedings; have been assigned co-counsel AUSAs; and are actively receiving federal cases to prosecute. Three more Tribal SAUSAs are in the application process and will receive training in spring 2013. All of these SAUSAs will focus on prosecuting offenses that their tribal governments have identified as community priorities–such as domestic violence, child abuse, drug trafficking, sex assaults or bootlegging.
Significant Criminal Prosecutions
Violent Drug Dealer Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona)
On Feb. 4, 2013, U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo announced Robert Francis Dayaye, Jr. (a.k.a. “Fat Rob”), 33, of Whiteriver, Ariz., was sentenced in federal court to a combined term of imprisonment of 15 years. Dayaye pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2102, to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and attempted carjacking in two separate cases. Before his arrest, Dayaye was the leader of the Diamond Creek Boyz (“DC Boyz”) gang on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation. On Dec. 6, 2011, Dayaye was found in a vehicle with a handgun and over 100 grams of actual methamphetamine. A federal search warrant was executed on a storage locker Dayaye was utilizing in Feb. 2012, and approximately 100 firearms were seized, most of which were military style weapons and four of which were illegal. On June 11, 2011, Dayaye ordered four others to steal a car from a female acquaintance. The four men attempted to steal the car by force, which resulted in the hospitalization of the victim.
Pascua Yaqui Teen Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Stabbing Another Man (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona)
On Jan. 31, 2013, U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo announced that Michael A. Alvarez-Suarez, 19, of Tucson, Ariz., was sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Alvarez-Suarez pleaded guilty on Nov. 29, 2012, to one count of aggravated assault. Both the victim and the defendant are members of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. On Aug. 1, 2011, Alvarez-Suarez got into a confrontation with a man and pulled out a pocket knife during the encounter, stabbing the victim twice.
Federal Jury Finds Red Lake Man Guilty of Domestic Assault by a Habitual Offender (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota)
On Jan. 31, 2012, U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones announced that Brian Gordon Graves, a Red Lake man, was convicted on one count of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of domestic assault by a habitual offender. On Oct. 6, 2012, Graves assaulted the victim with a 12-gauge shotgun on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. This is the second time the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota has prosecuted someone under the federal “domestic assault by a habitual offender” law.
Waylon Ronald Burns Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Montana)
U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter announced that on Feb. 12, 2013, Waylon Ronald Burns, a 35-year-old resident of Lame Deer and an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated sexual abuse. His sexual assault of the victim occurred in August 2012 at the rodeo grounds in Lame Deer. Burns faces possible penalties of life in prison, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision.
William Joey Gutierrez Sentenced in U.S. District Court (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Montana)
U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter announced that during a federal court session in Billings, Mont. on Feb. 14, 2013, William Joey Gutierrez, III, a 21-year-old resident of Pryor and an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe, appeared for sentencing. Gutierrez was sentenced to a term of 28 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. In April 2012, Gutierrez and the victim were in the bedroom of their house in Dunmore on the Crow Indian Reservation. Gutierrez admitted that he hit the victim in her face with his closed fist. The victim was taken to the hospital, where she was treated for a fractured orbital and medial wall.
Macy Man Sentenced to 37 Months for Assault (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Nebraska)
U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Conrad D. Lyons, Jr., 24, of Macy, Neb. was sentenced in federal court in Omaha for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. The Honorable Laurie Smith Camp, Chief Judge, imposed a sentenced of 37 months. After his release from prison Lyons will be on a three year term of supervised release. In August 2012, he was in a verbal altercation with his girlfriend who is also the mother of his children at a bar in Walthill, Neb. Lyons approached her and struck her to the face with both his fist and a full beer can. The force of the beer can split her lip vertically to the base of her nose. Lyons then struck a witness who attempted to intervene. Lyons continued to assault his girlfriend until the Omaha Tribal Police Department arrived and intervened.
Ramah Navajo Man Sentenced To Six Years in Prison for Voluntary Manslaughter Conviction (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Mexico)
On Feb. 4, 2013, U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that Dhanzasikam R. Toledo, 21, a member of the Ramah Navajo Chapter of the Navajo Nation, was sentenced to 72 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his voluntary manslaughter conviction. He was arrested in November 2011, on a criminal complaint alleging that he murdered his uncle, also a member of the Ramah Navajo Chapter. Toledo was indicted on a second degree murder charge in December 2011. According to the evidence presented at trial, Toledo stabbed the victim to death on Nov. 10, 2011, during an argument over a debt owed by Toledo to the victim that escalated to include personal verbal attacks about Toledo and his family.
Church Rock, N.M., Man Pleads Guilty To Second Degree Murder Charge Involving Death of A Navajo Man (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Mexico)
On Feb. 5, 2013, US Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that Danny Dan Don Brown, 25, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Church Rock, N.M., pleaded guilty to a second degree murder charge under a plea agreement. Brown and co-defendant, Melvyn Lee Morgan, 29, a member of the Navajo Nation, were charged in a criminal complaint for the December 2011 murder of Robert L. Smith, also a member of the Navajo Nation. According to court records, on the night of Dec. 3, 2011, Brown, Morgan and the victim had a fight after drinking alcohol. During the fight, Brown and Morgan repeatedly kicked and punched the victim, who died as a result of injuries he sustained. The charges in the indictment as to Morgan are only accusations and he is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Shiprock, N.M., Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Sexual Abuse Charge (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Mexico)
On Feb. 6, 2013, U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that Jack Belin, Jr., 59, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pled guilty to an abusive sexual contact charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Belin was arrested in October 2012, based on an indictment charging him with two counts of abusive sexual contact. According to the indictment, Belin committed the offenses on July 18, 2012 on the Navajo Indian Reservation, in San Juan County, N.M.
Devils Lake Man Pleads Guilty to Striking, Beating and Wounding (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of North Dakota)
U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on Feb. 4, 2013, Zev Boyd Rush, 32, of Devils Lake, N.D., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of striking, beating and wounding. In October 2010, Rush followed Joseph Scott Yankton from Devil’s Lake, N.D. onto the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation to Yankton’s home. Rush then assaulted Yankton with a black metal collapsible baton, causing numerous contusions to Yankton’s arms and leg. The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison.
Devils Lake Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Charge (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of North Dakota)
U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on Feb. 5, 2013, Ashley Lenoir of Devils Lake, N.D., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson to a charge of distribution of a controlled substance. Lenoir, 32, pleaded guilty to selling methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance, on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation.
Pine Ridge Man Sentenced for Domestic Assault (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Daryl Lee Goings, convicted of Domestic Assault by a Habitual Offender, was sentenced on Jan. 14, 2013 by Chief U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Viken. Goings was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and three years of supervised release. Goings was indicted for Kidnapping and Domestic Assault by a Habitual Offender on Feb. 22, 2012. The charges related to Goings causing substantial injury to a female during a domestic assault at Pine Ridge in September 2011. He has been convicted on at least two separate prior occasions for Aggravated Assault and Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury.
Pine Ridge Man Convicted of Sexual Abuse (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Daniel Tobacco, 19, of Pine Ridge, S.D., was convicted of sexual abuse following a federal jury trial in Rapid City, South Dakota. This charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Tobacco was indicted by a federal grand jury for sexual abuse in June 2012. The charges stem from Tobacco unlawfully engaging in a sexual act with a female at Pine Ridge on Feb. 23, 2012.
Parmelee Man Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Parmelee, S.D., man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Involuntary Manslaughter. Nathaniel Red Bird, 32, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 16, 2013. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on February 7, 2013 and pleaded not guilty to the indictment. The charge is merely an accusation and Red Bird is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. A trial date has been set for April 2, 2013.
Woman Sentenced for Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Wyoming)
U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Crofts announced that on Feb. 4, 2013, Natalie Faith Brown, a 27 year-old Northern Arapaho Tribal member from the Wind River Indian Reservation, was sentenced in federal court to one year probation with the first six months to be spent in a residential re-entry center, followed by three months of home confinement, and $13,578 in restitution for medical costs associated with Brown driving while intoxicated and crashing on Aug. 16, 2012, causing serious injury to one passenger and less serious injuries to a second passenger.
Man Sentenced for Escape (U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Wyoming)
U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Crofts announced that on Feb. 4, 2013, Louis YellowFox, a 28 year-old Northern Arapaho Tribal member from the Wind River Indian Reservation, was sentenced in federal court to time served (approximately four months), one year of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment for his May 10, 2012 escape from custody.