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Press Release

St. Michael, ND, Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Discharges of Firearms in a Crime of Violence, 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 June 17, 2024, Nathaniel Patrick Azure, age 21 of St. Michael, ND, appeared before Chief Judge Peter D. Welte, U.S. District Court, Fargo, ND, and was sentenced to a total of 32 years in federal prison for his role in a non-fatal shooting in Fort Totten, ND, on January 6, 2021; an assault while brandishing a firearm in St. Michael, ND, on May 21, 2022; and a second non-fatal shooting in St. Michael, ND, on May 22, 2022.

Azure was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for three counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, running concurrently; 10 years for each of the two counts of Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, running consecutively to each other and the other counts; and 7 years for one count of Brandishing of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, running consecutively to the other accounts. Azure will be on five years of supervised release following his term of federal imprisonment and must pay $600.00 in special assessments, as well as $104.795.28 in restitution.

Azure is the last of four federal defendants to be sentenced in relation to these crimes. Michael Al-Jerome Denne, the 25-year-old brother of Azure, previously pleaded guilty to his role in the January 6, 2021, shooting and has been sentenced. Dantae Jerome Whitetail, age 21 of Minnewaukan, ND, previously pleaded guilty for his role in the May 21, 2022, assault while brandishing a firearm, 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 and has been sentenced.

“This is a firm and fair sentence that will benefit public safety on Spirit Lake,” Schneider said. “Defendants who use firearms to commit violence in tribal communities can count on becoming federal defendants in the District of North Dakota. Our office is committed to working with our tribal, federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to prosecute and deter violent crime in Indian country.”

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 Klemetsrud Puhl, District of North Dakota.

Previous press releases for this case can be seen HERE and HERE:  



Terry W. Van Horn  701-297-7400

Updated June 17, 2024

Firearms Offenses