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Press Release

Minnewaukan, ND, Man Convicted of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and Brandishing of a Firearm in a Crime of Violence

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota

FARGO – United States Attorney Mac Schneider, District of North Dakota, announced that on March 6, 2024, Dantae Jerome Whitetail, age 21 of Minnewaukan, ND, appeared before Chief Judge Peter D. Welte, U.S. District Court, Fargo, ND, and was sentenced to 12 months for assault with a dangerous weapon, and a consecutive 48 months for brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, for a total sentence of 60 months of imprisonment. He will be on three years of supervised release following his term of federal imprisonment and must pay $200 in special assessments. Whitetail pleaded guilty for his role in the May 21, 2022, assault while brandishing a firearm in St. Michael, ND.

For his part in the May 21, 2022, assault while brandishing a firearm, 21-year-old Nathaniel Azure was convicted in December 2023, after a 7-day jury trial of the same crimes, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and Brandishing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence. Azure was also convicted at trial for his role in a non-fatal shooting in Fort Totten, ND, on January 6, 2021, and for his role in a second non-fatal shooting in St. Michael, ND, on May 22, 2022. Sentencing of Azure on the six counts of conviction is scheduled for June 17, 2024.

Michael Al-Jerome Denne, the 25-year-old brother of Azure, previously pleaded guilty to his participation in the January 6, 2021, shooting and has been sentenced. Skyla Kay Cavanaugh, age 23 of St. Michael, ND, previously pleaded guilty to her role in the May 22, 2022, shooting for being an accessory after the fact, making false statements, and retaliating against a witness, and has been sentenced.

“This sentence is a just result that will benefit public safety in Indian country,” Schneider said. “The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to combat violent crime in tribal communities.” 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Benson County Sheriff’s Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob T. Rodenbiker and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Klemestrud Puhl, District of North Dakota.

Previous press releases for this case:



Terry W. Van Horn 701-297-7400

Updated March 7, 2024