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TRIBAL JUSTICE NEWS
April 17, 2012

Attorney General Holder and Secretary Salazar Announce $1 Billion Settlement of Tribal Trust Accounting and Management Lawsuits Filed by More Than 40 Tribes

On Wednesday, April 11, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the settlement of lawsuits filed by 41 federally-recognized tribes against the United States, in which the tribes alleged that the Department of the Interior and the Department of the Treasury had mismanaged monetary assets and natural resources held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the tribes.  The announcement followed a 22-month-long negotiation between the tribes and the United States that has culminated in settlements between the government and tribes totaling more than $1 billion.

These settlements resolve claims dating back more than 100 years and will bring to an end protracted litigation that has burdened both the plaintiffs and the United States.  Ending these long-running disputes about the United States’ management of trust funds and non-monetary trust resources will allow the United States and the tribes to move beyond the distrust exacerbated by years of litigation.  These settlement agreements represent a significant milestone in the improvement of the United States’ relationship with Indian tribes. 

“These settlements fairly and honorably resolve historical grievances over the accounting and management of tribal trust funds, trust lands and other non-monetary trust resources that, for far too long, have been a source of conflict between Indian tribes and the United States,” said Attorney General Holder.  “Our commitment to tribes is the cornerstone of the Department of Justice’s policies and initiatives in Indian Country, and these settlements will enable the tribal community to pursue the goals and objectives they deem to be appropriate while marking another step in our shared future built upon mutual respect and strong bonds of trust between tribal governments and the United States.”

Read a blog post about the settlement at http://blogs.justice.gov/main/archives/2019.

See a photo gallery of the settlement announcement at www.justice.gov/css-gallery/gallery-1bilion.html.

VIOLENT CRIME

New Town, N.D., Man Found Guilty of Sex Trafficking, Sexual Abuse, Drug Trafficking and Witness Tampering (U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota - http://www.justice.gov/usao/nd/)
U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon announced that Dustin J. Morsette, aka Dusty J. Morsette, 22, of New Town, N.D., was found guilty of one count of sex trafficking by force of coercion, three counts of aggravated sexual abuse by force, five counts of sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of sexual abuse, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, three counts of employment or use of a person under 18 years of age in drug operations and one count of tampering with a witness.  In or about September 2009, Morsette and another person conspired to distribute marijuana in and around the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation by recruiting minors and young adults to be part of a gang he described as the Black Disciples.  According to trial testimony, Morsette used physical force and coercion to cause a female victim he had recruited for the gang to engage in commercial sex acts on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and in Williston and Minot, N.D.  After his arrest in July 2010, Morsette attempted to influence this victim’s testimony in this case and to prevent communication about the sexual abuse and prostitution activity to law enforcement.  Sentencing for Morsette is scheduled for July 30, 2012, where he faces multiple maximum penalties of life in prison.

Pine Ridge Man Pleads Guilty to First Degree Burglary (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd/ )
U.S. Attorney Brenan V. Johnson announced that Alan Standing Soldier Jr., aka Alon Standing Soldier Jr., 19, of Pine Ridge, S.D., pleaded guilty to first degree burglary on April 5, 2012.  The maximum penalty upon conviction is 25 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.  The charge relates to Standing Soldier unlawfully entering the home of another individual at Wolf Creek, S.D., on June 13, 2011.

Lodge Grass, Mont., Man Sentenced to 60 Months in Prison for Involuntary Manslaughter and Assault (U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana – www.justice.gov/usao/mt/)
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana announced that on April 4, 2012, Adrian Uriah Broken Rope, 25, of Lodge Grass, Mont., and an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe, was sentenced to 60 months in prison, a $400 special assessment and three years supervised release. Broken Rope was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter and three counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  On May 5, 2011, Broken Rope wrecked his vehicle on the Crow Indian reservation while driving under the influence of alcohol, resulting in the death of one passenger and the injury of three others.

Navajo, N.M, Man Receives Ten Year Prison Sentence for Federal Voluntary Manslaughter (U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico - http://www.justice.gov/usao/nm/)
On April 12, 2012, Derrick Frank, 22, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release for his voluntary manslaughter conviction.  Frank, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Navajo, N.M., killed Ty Smith, 23, on Dec. 31, 2010, in the heat of passion during a sudden quarrel and fight on the Navajo Indian Reservation.

Browning, Mont., Man Sentenced to 220 Months in Prison For Sexual Abuse of a Child (U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana – www.justice.gov/usao/mt/)
The U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana announced that on April 3, 2012, Jonathan Alexander Headcarrier, 21, of Browning, Mont., and an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe, was sentenced to 220 months in prison, a $100 special assessment and 15 years supervised release.  Headcarrier was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to sexual abuse of a child.

Brockton, Mont., Man Sentenced For Abusive Sexual Contact (U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana – www.justice.gov/usao/mt/)
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana announced that on April 11, 2012, Robert Blackdog, 56, of Brockton, Mont., and an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Indian Tribe, was sentenced to 37 months in prison, a $100 special assessment and five years supervised release in connection with his guilty plea to abusive sexual contact. 

Box Elder, Mont., Men Sentenced For Assault (U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana – www.justice.gov/usao/mt/)
On April 9, 2012, Vernon Marshall Young, 23, and Austin Joseph Denny, 22, residents of Box Elder, Mont., were sentenced after being found guilty of simple assault and assault with a dangerous weapon within the exterior boundaries of the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.  Denny was sentenced to 54 months in prison, a $110 special assessment, $1898.40 restitution and three years supervised release.  Young was sentenced to 51 months in prison, a $110 special assessment, $1,898.40 restitution and three years supervised release. 

Northern Cheyenne Man Sentenced For Assault With a Dangerous Weapon (U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana – www.justice.gov/usao/mt/)
On April 11, 2012, Donald Charles Rapos, 53, of Lame Deer and an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, was sentenced to 21 months in prison, a $100 special assessment, $1,000 restitution and three years supervised release in connection with his guilty plea to assault with a dangerous weapon.

Lodge Grass, Mont., Man Sentenced for Impeding a Federal Officer by Threats (U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana – www.justice.gov/usao/mt/)
On April 11, 2012, Roland Todd Brown, 47, of Lodge Grass, Mont., was sentenced to 149 days in prison, a $100 special assessment and two years supervised release in connection with his guilty plea to impeding a federal officer by threats. On June 21, 2011, Brown resisted arrest in his home and repeatedly threatened to assault and harm one of the arresting officers.

Parmelee, S.D., Man Sentenced for Two Cases of Sexual Abuse and Abusive Sexual Contact (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd/)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that, on April 11, 2012, Clarence Jeffrey Smith, aka Jeffrey Clarence Smith, 30, of Parmelee, was sentenced to 30 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, a $200 special assessment and restitution to be determined at a later hearing in connection with his guilty pleas to aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact.  Smith’s guilty pleas resulted from his sexual abuse of several children from the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation.

Ft. Thompson Men Plead Guilty to Second Degree Murder and Manslaughter Charges (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd/)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Alphonso Drapeau, III, 22, of Ft. Thompson, S.D., pleaded guilty to second degree murder on April 10, 2012.  The maximum penalty upon conviction is life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release.  Alphonso’s brother, Gavin Drapeau, 22, of Ft. Thompson pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.  The maximum penalty upon conviction is 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release.  The convictions stem from an incident on Oct. 2, 2011, when the Drapeau brothers attacked the victim, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury.  The victim was pronounced dead on Oct. 10, 2011.

Acoma Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Domestic Violence by a Habitual Offender (U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico – www.justice.gov/usao/nm/)
Kirby Dana Sanchez, 37, a member and resident of Acoma Pueblo, pleaded guilty to a charge of domestic assault by a habitual offender on April 11, 2012.  Sanchez faces up to five years in prison if convicted.  According to court filings, on Sept. 21, 2011, Sanchez assaulted his wife who is also a member of Acoma Pueblo. Sanchez has had two prior domestic violence convictions in tribal court. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

Two Women Appear in Federal Court for Separate Vehicular Assaults in Warm Springs (U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon – www.justice.gov/usao/or/)
On April 6, 2012, Doriann L. Miller, 24, of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, was sentenced to six months in prison for driving under the influence, speeding and eluding the police, crashing her vehicle and causing the paralysis of one of her passengers.  Miller was also ordered to spend up to six months in a residential alcohol treatment program upon her release from prison. Miller pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury on Nov. 10, 2011.  Naoimi Joann Brisbois, 27, of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, pleaded guilty on April 2, 2012, to one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury to an individual less than 16 years of age. Brisbois faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for July 20, 2012.

Isleta Pueblo, N.M., Man Receives Seven Year Sentence for Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence (U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico – www.justice.gov/usao/nm/)
On April 6, 2012, Joe Alex Abeita, III, 21, of Isleta Pueblo, N.M., to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release for using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. On Dec. 10, 2010, Abeita fired a shotgun into an Isleta Pueblo residence four times, injuring one woman. Abeita pleaded guilty to the charge on Dec. 2, 2011.

Warm Springs, Ore., Man Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Assaulting His Infant Son (U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon – www.justice.gov/usao/or/)
On April 9, 2012, Monty Tewee, 21, of Warm Springs, Ore., was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years supervised release for assaulting his infant son.  Tewee pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury on Nov. 7, 2011.

Red Lake, Minn., Man Indicted for Assaulting Woman with a Shovel (U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota – www.justice.gov/usao/mn/)
Myron Lee Jones, Jr., 25, of Red Lake, Minn., was charged with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury on March 20, 2012. The indictment alleges that on Aug. 23, 2009, Jones assaulted the woman without just cause.  If convicted, Jones faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison.

Norther Araphaho Man Indicted for Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and Escape from Custody (U.S. Attorney for the District of Wyoming – www.justice.gov/usao/wy/)
U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Crofts announced that on April 5, 2012, Matthew Antelope, 30, and an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation was indicted on one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury, one count of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of escape from custody.  Each assault charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  The escape charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Trial has been set for June 8, 2012.

Kirtland, N.M., Man Receives Twenty-One Month Prison Sentence for Federal Assault Conviction (U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico – www.justice.gov/usao/nm/)
On April 10, 2012, Ricky Stanley Smith, 34, a Navajo man who resides in Kirtland N.M., was sentenced to 21 months in prison and two years supervised release for his federal assault conviction. The conviction stems from an April 30, 2011, incident where he was driving while intoxicated and caused a collision that injured his passenger. Smith pleaded guilty to the charge on October 13, 2011.

Sisseton, S.D.-Area Man Charged with Making False Statements in Relation to the 2010 Disappearance of a Sisseton Man (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd/)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Michael Todd Never Misses A Shot, 38, was indicted on April 4, 2012, for making a false statement.  The indictment alleges that he made false statements to an FBI agent regarding the disappearance of Andrew Jon (AJ) Lufkins who was last seen in Sisseton in April 2010. The maximum penalty upon conviction is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Lower Brule, S.D., Man Pleads Guilty to Failure to Register (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd/)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that James St. Cloud, 31, of Lower Brule, pleaded guilty to Count I of the indictment that charged him with failure to register as a sex offender.  The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a mandatory minimum period of supervised release of five years. St. Cloud was convicted on one count of aggravated sexual abuse in 1999.  Under South Dakota law, St. Cloud is required to register bi-annually in May and Nov. of each year.

PUBLIC CORRUPTION

Former Ho-Chunk Nation Legislator Pleads Guilty to Federal Bribery Charge (U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin – www.justice.gov/usao/wie/)
U.S. Attorney John W. Vaudreil announced that Clarence Pettibone, 53, of Black River Falls, Wis., pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe in violation of federal law on April 10, 2012.  Pettibone faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.  Pettibone was charged in a bribery conspiracy, along with co-defendants Timothy Whiteagle and Deborah Atherton of Trinity Financial Group.  Sentencing is scheduled for July 11, 2012. 

DRUG ENFORCEMENT

St. Francis, S.D., Man Sentenced for Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd/)
On April 11, 2012, Dana A. Farmer, Sr., 48, of St. Francis, was sentenced to 10 months in prison, four years supervised release and a $100 special assessment in connection with his conviction of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, marijuana. Farmer has a prior felony conviction for a drug offense.

Hardin, Mont., Women Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine (U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana – www.justice.gov/usao/mt/)
On April 11, 2012, Guadalupe Rodriguez III, 24, of Hardin, Mont., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Sentencing has been set for July 11, 2012.  He is currently detained.  Rodriguez admitted that he began selling methamphetamine soon after January 2010 and estimated that he made a little over $1,000 in sales during the two month period.  Rodriguez faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine and three years supervised release.

Winner, S.D., Man Sentenced in Marijuana Distribution Conspiracy (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd/)

U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Timothy Flammond, 29, of Winner, S.D., was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, four years supervised release and a $100 special assessment in connection with his conviction of conspiracy to distribute and possesses with intent to distribute a controlled substance, marijuana, on April 11, 2012.  In June 2011, Flammond was stopped at a Rosebud Tribal Police traffic stop when a narcotics detection police dog alerted on the vehicle, a search was conducted and marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found.  On May 31, 2001, Flammond was convicted for the offense of illegal possession/use of a controlled substance.