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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 29, 2019

Fort Yates North Dakota Woman Charged with Drug Trafficking and Theft

Defendants Prosecuted as Part of The Guardians Project, a Federal Law Enforcement Initiative to Combat Corruption, Fraud, and Abuse in South Dakota

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Fort Yates, North Dakota, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Distribution of a Controlled Substance and Theft by an Employee of an Indian Gaming Establishment.

Candace Crow Ghost, age 41, was indicted on March 12, 2019.  She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on April 23, 2019, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 20 years in federal prison and/or a $1,000,000 fine, 3 years up to life of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment alleges that between December 21, 2016, and March 27, 2017, Crow Ghost knowingly and intentionally distributed a substance containing a detectable amount of Hydrocodone and Oxycodone, and further embezzled funds from the Grand River Casino, a gaming establishment operated by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, in excess of $1,000.

The charges are merely accusations and Crow Ghost is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley is prosecuting the case.   

Crow Ghost was released on bond pending trial.  A trial date has not been set.

The case was brought as part of The Guardians Project, a federal law enforcement initiative to coordinate efforts between participating agencies, to promote citizen disclosure of public corruption, fraud, and embezzlement involving federal program funds, contracts, and grants, and to hold accountable those who are responsible for adversely affecting those living in South Dakota’s Indian country communities.  The Guardians Project is another step of federal law enforcement’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination, and positive action on behalf of tribal communities. 

Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the participating agencies include: Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Offices of Inspector General for the Departments of Interior, Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. Postal Inspector Service; U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.

For additional information about The Guardians Project, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (605) 330-4400. To report a suspected crime, please contact law enforcement at the federal agency’s locally listed telephone number.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Updated April 29, 2019