Two persons sentenced for intimidation after assault and attempted theft from Fort Belknap Indian Reservation store
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana
GREAT FALLS — A man and a woman who admitted to intimidation charges after they attempted to steal from a store on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation were sentenced today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Dustin Alan Robbins, 38, and Nicole Lynn Hicks, 37, both transients, pleaded guilty to intimidation in August 2023.
Robbins was sentenced to one year in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release.
Hicks was sentenced to time served of 262 days, to be followed by two years of supervised release.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.
In court documents, the government alleged that on Nov. 1, 2021, Hicks and Robbins, who are non-Indian, entered the Red Paint Creek Trading Post in Lodge Pole, on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. At the time, both had been excluded from the reservation by the Fort Belknap community for an incident that occurred near Hays in September 2021. Hicks took a 30-pack of beer without paying and left the store. A store employee, who is an Indian person, followed Hicks outside. Hicks put the beer on the ground as she was going through a fence. The store employee went to retrieve the beer and picked it up.
The government further alleged that Robbins assaulted the employee and threatened to burn down the store. After learning of the theft, the store manager, also an Indian person, went outside and saw Robbins assaulting the employee. The store manager yelled that she had called the police and picked up a large rock to defend the employee. Robbins stopped the assault and ran away with Hicks. As they were leaving, Hicks kept screaming and Robbins yelled threats, including that he was with the mafia and was going to burn down the store. Tribal police located Robbins and Hicks at a home on the reservation, despite their prior exclusion, and removed them from the reservation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda L. Myers prosecuted the case. The FBI and Fort Belknap Law Enforcement conducted the investigation.
Clair J. Howard
Public Affairs Officer
Updated January 24, 2024
Press Release Number: 24-28
Indian Country Law and Justice