GREAT FALLS – A Box Elder man admitted allegations today that he tried to murder another man by shooting him on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation in 2019, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Dakota Houle, 25, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. Houle maintained his not guilty plea to a charge of kidnapping and is pending trial on that crime. Houle faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on the crime of assault with intent to commit murder and a mandatory 10 years to life in prison, consecutive to any other term of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release on the firearms crime.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris set sentencing for April 6, 2022. Houle was detained pending further proceedings.
The government alleged in court documents that on March 17, 2019 in Box Elder, located on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, Houle, another male, identified as Male 1, and two females were at a residence. A Facebook messenger account was used lure John Doe to the residence. Shortly after Doe arrived, Houle and Male 1 attacked and beat Doe, robbed him and threatened to kill him. Male 1 told Doe that they were going to take him “for a ride in the mountains.” Everyone present, including Doe, understood that meant they were going to take Doe to the mountains to kill him.
Doe was forced at gun point into the front-passenger seat of his own car, while Houle sat in the rear passenger-side seat with a shotgun behind Doe. The two females were passengers. Male 1 drove the car toward the mountains as Doe pleaded for his life. Doe reached over and jerked the steering wheel, causing the car to go into a ditch. Doe jumped out and attempted to escape. Male 1 shouted at Houle that Doe was “getting away” and to “shoot” him. Houle got out of the car and shot Doe, intending to kill him. Houle, Male 1 and the two females fled the scene on foot. Doe suffered serious life-threatening injuries and has permanent damage as a result of the shooting.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jared C. Cobell and Lori Harper Suek are prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Chippewa Cree Law Enforcement Services and the FBI.