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TRIBAL JUSTICE NEWS
May 2, 2012

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL JAMES M. COLE VISITS STANDING ROCK RESERVATION AND NORTH DAKOTA TRIBAL CONSULTATION

U.S. Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole participated in the 2nd Annual U.S. Attorney’s Tribal Consultation Conference for the District of North Dakota on April 26, 2012 in Bismarck.  On April 25, Deputy Attorney General Cole and U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon visited with youth and tribal leaders at the Standing Rock Reservation. 

Read U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon’s Blog on the visit and consultation “On Year in Indian Country” by visiting the Justice Blog at http://blogs.justice.gov/main/.

See the photo gallery of the trip to North Dakota at www.justice.gov/css-gallery/gallery-standing-rock-reservation.html.

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DRUG ENFORCEMENT

Seven Individuals Sentenced for Drug Distribution on Menominee Indian Reservation (U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin – www.justice.gov/usao/wie)
James L. Santelle, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced on April 27, 2012, that Anthony V. Brown, 38; Robert J. Brewer, 29; Mark K. Waukau Jr., 31, Marlin F. Basina, 54; Francisco L. Mendoza, 25; Laurie Mendoza, 31; and Miguel Mendoza, 30, have been sentenced in U.S. District Court for distribution of cocaine on the Menominee Indian Reservation.  Brown was sentenced to 43 months prison; Brewer was sentenced to 18 months prison; Waukau was sentenced to 12 months prison consecutive to a 180 day tribal sentence; Basina was sentenced to 40 months prison; Francisco Mendoza was sentenced to 6 months prison; Manuel Mendoza received 34 months prison; and Laurie Mendoza received a two-year probation term.  These cases stem from a year-long drug investigation conducted by the Native American Drug Gang Initiative, including representatives from the FBI and the Menominee Tribal Police Department.

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VIOLENT CRIME

Rosebud Man Sentenced for Assaulting Minor in McLaughlin (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Rosebud, S.D., man charged with assault resulting in substantial bodily injury was sentenced on May 1, 2012 in federal court.  Nathan I. Eastman, 32, was sentenced to 27 months in custody, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund.  On Feb. 14, 2012, Eastman pled guilty to a Superseding Information that charged him with Assault Resulting in Substantial Bodily Injury to a Minor.  The conviction stems from the suspect's assault of a minor in December 2000 at McLaughlin, S.D.

Mission Man Sentenced for Assaulting Law Enforcement Officer (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Mission, S.D., man charged with Assaulting a Federal Officer was sentenced on April 30, 2012 in federal court.  Roger Watts, 28, was sentenced to 21 months in custody, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund.  The conviction stems from an incident on Nov. 27, 2011, wherein a law enforcement officer responded to a call to remove Watts from a residence.  Watts resisted arrest by fleeing out the back door of the residence and wrestling with the officer.            

Rosebud Man Sentenced in Two Assault Cases (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Rosebud, S.D., man charged in two separate assault cases was sentenced on May 1, 2012.  In the first case, for a conviction for assault resulting in serious bodily injury, Michael Charging Elk, 21, was sentenced to 37 months in custody and three years of supervised release.  In the second case, for a conviction of assault by striking, beating and wounding, Charging Elk was sentenced to six months in custody and restitution of $1,025.  The charges stem from separate assaults that took place on the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Reservation.  On Oct. 13, 2010, Charging Elk was at the Sicangu Village Estates when an altercation ensued between Charging Elk and the victim.  Charging Elk hit and kicked the victim, who was later hospitalized but recovered.  On Aug. 26, 2011, Charging Elk was again at the Sicangu Village Estates and went to a house looking for a girlfriend.  A tribal court had ordered that Charging Elk have no contact with this girlfriend.  He encountered a different woman and assaulted her when she did not allow him into the house.

Navajo Man Sentenced In Arizona To 27 Years in Prison for Second Degree Murder (U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona – www.justice.gov/usao/az)
Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel announced that Wilbert Tsosie, 33, of Red Valley, Ariz., was sentenced on April 30, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake to 324 months in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release for second degree murder.  Tsosie was found guilty by a federal jury on Jan. 31, 2012.  On Oct. 6, 2010, Tsosie assaulted a person he resided with, stomping on the victim’s head and causing a serious brain injury, which resulted in the victim’s death.     

Gila River Man Indicted For Second-Degree Murder in Shooting Death Of Victim (U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona – www.justice.gov/usao/az)
Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel announced that on April 18, 2012, a federal grand jury in Phoenix returned an indictment against Martin Oliver Pablo, 22, a member of the Gila River Indian Community, for second-degree murder and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.  The indictment alleges that on April 7, 2012, Pablo killed another member of the Gila River Indian Community on the Gila River Indian Reservation.   A conviction for second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine, and a conviction for use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence carries a minimum of 10 years in prison, to be served consecutively to the prison term for second-degree murder, a $250,000 fine, or both.

Tokio, N.D., Man Sentenced to Eight Years and One Month in Prison for Sexual Abuse (U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/nd)
U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that Gary Dean Feather Jr. of Tokio, N.D., was sentenced on April 30, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson to eight years and one month in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release for sexual abuse.  On the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation on Aug. 29, 2008, Feather Jr., 35, performed a sexual act on an adult woman when she was unconscious and physically incapable of giving her consent.

Montana Man Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter (U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana – www.justice.gov/usao/mt)
U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter announced that Ronald Glenn Keiser III, a 37-year-old resident of Wolf Point, Mont., and an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Tribes, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to two counts of involuntary manslaughter.  On Aug, 19, 2011, Keisler left a bike rally at a bar and was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle that killed two people. Following the crash, Keisler’s blood alcohol content was recorded at .182.  Keiser faces possible penalties of eight years in prison on each count, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release.

Shiprock, N.M., Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge (U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico – www.justice.gov/usao/nm)
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that on April 5, 2012, Wayne Tahe, 58, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  At sentencing, Tahe faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.  Tahe was charged with stabbing his wife in their Shiprock home on Dec. 8, 2011.  Tahe has been in federal custody since his arrest on Dec. 8, 2011.

Pueblo Pintado, N.M., Man Sentenced to Seven Years for Federal Assault Conviction (U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico – www.justice.gov/usao/nm)
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that on April 5, 2012, Jon Erik Tom, 27, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Pueblo Pintado, N.M., was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years supervised release for his assault conviction.  He was also ordered to pay $35,082.14 in restitution.  The conviction stems from an incident that took place on Sept. 3, 2011, when Tom shot the victim in the upper left leg during a gang related confrontation while on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Pueblo Pintado. Tom pleaded guilty on Dec. 2, 2011, to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault resulting in serious bodily harm.

Fort Kipp, Mont., Man Sentenced to 88 Months in Prison for Sexual Abuse (U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana – www.justice.gov/usao/mt)
U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter announced that, on April 3, 2012, Leonard Dean Follette, 50, of Fort Kipp, Mont., was sentenced to 88 months in prison, a $100 special assessment and three years supervised release.  Follette was sentenced in connection to his guilty plea to sexual abuse.

Crow Agency Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for Assault (U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana – www.justice.gov/usao/mt)
U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter announced that, on March 29, 2012, John George Enick, 23, of Crow Agency and an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe of Indians, was sentenced to 33 months in prison, a $100 special assessment, $383.71 in restitution and three years supervised release. Enick was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. On June 4, 2011, Enick assaulted the victim, breaking jaw broken in two places, on the Crow Indian Reservation.

Parmelee, S.D., Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Victim with Air Pistol Adam Poor Bear (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Adam Poor Bear, 22, of Parmelee, S.D., appeared before United States District Judge Roberto A. Lange on May 1, 2012, and pled guilty to an indictment that charged him with assault with a dangerous weapon.  On July 21, 2011, in Parmelee, Poor Bear pulled an air pistol out of his clothing and pushed the barrel of the pistol against the victim's forehead, indicating he was going to shoot the victim.  The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Wabeno Man Charged in Federal Court with Attempted Aggravated Sexual Abuse and Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury (U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin – www.justice.gov/usao/wie)
U.S. Attorney James L. Santelle announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment on April 17, 2012, charging Lance M. Tahwa, 28, of Wabeno, Wis., with one count of attempted aggravated sexual abuse and one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  According to the indictment, the incident took place on the Menominee Indian Reservation on March 17, 2012. If convicted of the attempted aggravated sexual abuse charge, Tahwa faces up to life in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to life term of supervised release. If convicted of the assault resulting in serious bodily injury charge, he faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years supervised release. A jury trial has been scheduled for June 25, 2012.

McLaughlin, S.D., Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Contact with Woman (U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/sd)
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Sheldon Gerry, 36, of McLaughlin, S.D., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to an indictment that charged him with sexual contact.  The conviction arose from a January 2011 incident in which Gerry had sexual contact with a McLaughlin woman.  The maximum penalty upon conviction is 3 years in custody, a $250,000 fine, or both.

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BURGLARY AND FIREARMS

New Town Man Sentenced for Burglary & Gun Charges (U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota – www.justice.gov/usao/nd)
U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced on April 20, 2012, Troy K. Yazzie Jr., 21, of New Town, N.D., was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on charges of burglary and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.  On April 14, 2010, in the New Town area, Yazzie went to a residence looking for a person, entered the residence without knocking and without permission and began searching for that person. Yazzie found a man sleeping on the couch, woke him and pointed a 9mm pistol at him. The victim was not the man Yazzie intended to find. Yazzie pleaded guilty to the charges on August 16, 2010. Yazzie was sentenced to 40 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Mississippi Man Pleads Guilty to Burglary (U.S. Attorney for the District of Mississippi – www.justice.gov/usao/mss)
Patrick Morris, 27, of Jackson, Miss., pleaded guilty on April 3, 2012, to one count of burglary. The offense occurred within the boundaries of the Tribal Lands of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.  Morris will be sentenced on June 19, 2012, and faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

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