Marcus Gerald Fast Horse Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on June 14, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, MARCUS GERALD FAST HORSE, a 20-year-old resident of Poplar, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and burglary. Sentencing has been set for October 17, 2011. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
At approximately 3:00 a.m. on September 24, 2010, a Roosevelt County Sheriff's deputy discovered three young people, FAST HORSE, a juvenile male (JM) and a juvenile female (JF), walking down the highway east of Wolf Point, on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. The JM was carrying or pulling along two pieces of duffle bag type luggage. The deputy stopped to offer them a ride. One of the three told the deputy that they had been kicked out of a local motel and were on their way back to Poplar, a distance of about 20 miles.
The deputy called the Fort Peck Tribal Police for assistance with a "transfer to Poplar." The deputy took the three to a location where he was met by a Fort Peck Tribal police officer. The officer recognized both FAST HORSE and the JM. The deputy loaded the two duffle bags into the trunk of his car and then asked the JM if the luggage he was carrying belonged to him. The JM claimed the bags were his. The officer knew that the JM was on probation and ran a check on his status. It was determined that the JM was on house arrest for tribal convictions. The officer also determined that the JF was on juvenile probation. Both were in violation and were subject to arrest. The deputy then turned around and headed back to Wolf Point.
Following tribal protocol, the officer took the three to the closest emergency room to be medically cleared before the JM and JF were taken into custody. At the emergency room, before the three were taken inside for a medical examination, the officer opened the trunk to his vehicle to remove the two bags and heard the distinctive sound of glass bottles "clinking" together. Tribal police officers then conducted an inventory search of the JM's bags. Officers discovered 6 bottles of liquor, 24 packs of cigarettes, 11 cans of smokeless tobacco, 9 BIC-style lighters, an X-Box game device with 16 games and a wireless controller, and a PlayStation 3 game device with one game and one wireless controller. The bags had identification that they belonged to the JM's father's girlfriend, who at the time lived in Wolf Point near where the three were found.
Fort Peck officers then treated the events as a possible burglary and began questioning the three about where they had obtained the items in the bags. The JF claimed that she had met FAST HORSE and the JM in town and that they already had the bags with them. She did suggest that the items may have come from the Cattleman's Cut, a Wolf Point restaurant and bar. Officers were dispatched to the Cattleman's Cut and determined that there appeared to have been a break-in at the establishment. The owner of the Cattleman's Cut later confirmed that liquor and tobacco had been taken, as well as $105 in small bills. Officers located 10 - $5s and 12 - $1s on the JM. When FAST HORSE was booked later that evening, he had been carrying 43 American dollars and 2 Canadian dollars, for a total of $107 in cash between them.
A tribal officer reported that he had removed the three from the El Rancho Inn in Wolf Point several hours earlier. At that time they were carrying no bags. A tribal officer conducting the investigation confronted the JF about her earlier story that when she had met up with FAST HORSE and the JM they already had the bags with them. That was clearly not the case based on the information provided by the tribal officer that had removed them from the El Rancho Inn. The JF then admitted that she had been with the two men when they burglarized the Cattleman's Cut and the home of the JM's father's girlfriend, although she insisted that she had only been the lookout during the bar burglary.
Officers went to that residence and discovered the back door had been kicked in. The father's girlfriend was located in Billings. Officers described the electronics and she confirmed that she and her son had property matching that description.
FAST HORSE was given the opportunity to explain the events of the evening but declined. The JM was interviewed and admitted to the burglaries. He told investigators that they had burglarized his father's girlfriend's house first, finding duffle bags in the closet and taking the gaming equipment and games. The three then went to the Cattleman's Cut where they entered the bar by prying off boards around the air conditioning unit and pushing the unit into the bar. Then FAST HORSE and the JF went into the bar and brought out bottles of liquor, cigarettes, and lighters, which the JM put in the bags.
FAST HORSE faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Roosevelt County Sheriff's Office and the Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.