RAGLEY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO PART IN ROBBERY AT COUSHATTA TRIBAL RESERVATION
LAKE CHARLES, La. – The last defendant in a group that conducted an armed home invasion on the Coushatta Tribal Reservation pleaded guilty, U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today.
Floyd Marshall Martine, 35, of Ragley, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi to one count of the crime of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a federal crime of violence.
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, the defendant along with John Harold Materne, Chanten Keith L. Gauthreaux, Trevor James Simon, and another suspect traveled on December 3, 2013, in a van to the home of an acquaintance located on property belonging to the Coushatta Indian Tribe near Elton, La., in order to steal illegal drugs. Simon drove the vehicle. With Materne carrying a shotgun, he and Martine entered the home. While they were robbing the inhabitants, Gauthreaux entered the trailer and helped take pills and marijuana. The group was arrested while fleeing in the van. Materne and two of the victims are Native American Indians and members of the Coushatta Tribe.
Martine faces seven years to life in prison and a maximum of five years of supervised release. Simon, Gauthreaux, and Materne pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of robbery in Indian Country, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and three years of supervised release. Materne also pleaded guilty to one count of the crime of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a federal crime of violence. They also all face a maximum fine of $250,000 and forfeiture of the weapons used in the robbery. A sentencing date of September 18, 2014 was set for Martine. Simon is scheduled to be sentenced October 30, 2014; Gauthreaux is to be sentenced September 11, 2014; and Materne is to be sentenced September 4, 2014.
Jurisdiction in Indian Country is based upon the unique sovereign relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes. Congress has extended the territorial jurisdiction of the United States to major crimes committed against Native Americans that take place in Indian Country, which includes all property that the government holds in trust or use by officially recognized Native American tribes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutes all major crimes and misdemeanor cases arising in Indian Country that are within the jurisdiction of this office. The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutes cases arising in Indian Country involving felonies where either the defendant or the victim is an Indian or both the defendant and the victim are Indian. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also prosecutes cases involving misdemeanors where the defendant is a non-Indian.
The Coushatta Tribal Police Department, FBI, and ATF conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph T. Mickel is prosecuting the case.