Operation Prairie Thunder Results in Drug Trafficking Charges Against 17 on Standing Rock Sioux Reservation

June 6, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 5, 2012 released the following:

“Multiple Law Enforcement Agencies and Prosecutors’ Offices Involved in 14-Month Operation and Arrests Made Today

BISMARCK— U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota Timothy Q. Purdon announced that a total of 17 defendants have been arrested and charged with drug trafficking offenses in federal court in North Dakota and South Dakota and in Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Court as a result of Operation Prairie Thunder. The federal and tribal drug charges are the result of “Operation Prairie Thunder,” a 14-month-long investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services on the Standing Rock Reservation. Multiple arrests of Operation Prairie Thunder defendants were made today on the Standing Rock Reservation by a cooperating team of federal, local, and tribal law enforcement officers.

In Bismarck, U.S. Attorney Purdon said, “The charges filed as a result of Operation Prairie Thunder will make the Standing Rock community stronger and safer. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to a strategy in Indian Country that is built on close cooperation between federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. This cooperation has resulted in charges being filed, not just in federal court, but also in the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s own tribal court where appropriate. Cooperation like this means better law enforcement, better prosecutions and safer communities.”

In Sioux Falls, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota Brendan Johnson said, “These indictments illustrate the progress that is being made in Standing Rock and throughout Indian Country in South Dakota and North Dakota. The success of this investigation was the result of close cooperation between dedicated professionals in numerous law enforcement agencies.” U.S. Attorney Johnson added, “These are serious offenses, and we will continue our efforts to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and eradicate large-scale drug conspiracies in the Dakotas.”

In Fort Yates, Standing Rock Sioux Chief Prosecutor Grant Walker said, “Close cooperation between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office has allowed the tribe to participate directly in Operation Prairie Thunder by charging, where appropriate, additional defendants tied to this investigation in tribal court. By being a partner in this operation, the Standing Rock Tribe is able, through the exercise of its own sovereignty, to make its own important contribution to the safety of its community. ”

Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Minneapolis Field Office, which includes North Dakota and South Dakota said, “The arrests resulting from this joint investigation serve as a shining example of cooperative law enforcement efforts in the region. The FBI, along with our partners, remains unwavering in its commitment to the safety and well-being of people on the Standing Rock Reservation.”

“Jurisdictional issues exist throughout Indian Country and working together with other federal, state, and local agencies in a common goal is essential for Indian Country law enforcement,” said Bureau of Indian Affairs Special Agent in Charge Mario Redlegs. “This operation affirms to the people of Standing Rock that we are watching vigilantly and ensuring that they do have a safe place to live.”

U.S. Attorney Purdon praised the coordinated efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services, United States Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, Sioux County Sheriff’s Department, and the United States Parole and Pre-Trial Services in achieving the near simultaneous arrests today on the Standing Rock Reservation of many of those charged in the Operation Prairie Thunder cases.

Those charged as a result of Operation Prairie Thunder include:

Charged in United States District Court, District of North Dakota:

  • Casey Dogskin, 5023 Mule Deer Street, Fort Yates, North Dakota; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of marijuana;
  • Donald White Lightning, 5014 3rd Avenue, Cannonball, North Dakota; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of marijuana (two counts);
  • Francis Lester, 5664 Douglas Skye Complex, Fort Yates, North Dakota; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of morphine; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of Ritalin; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of Oxycodone;
  • Bryan See Walker, 5659 Douglas Skye Complex, Fort Yates, North Dakota; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of marijuana (two counts);
  • Paul Miner, 29 5Hawk Avenue, Fort Yates, North Dakota; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of hydrocodone; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of marijuana; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone;
  • Sage Claymore, 479 Whitetail Street, Fort Yates, North Dakota; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of marijuana (two counts);
  • James Grant, 546 Warrior Street, Fort Yates, North Dakota; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of morphine;
  • Muriel Long Feather, address unknown; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of oxycodone;
  • Winfield Kills Crow, sddress unknown; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of morphine;
  • Allen Siegfried, 5005 4th Ave., Cannonball, North Dakota; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of morphine;

Charged in United States District Court, District of South Dakota:

  • Chaske Little Bear, address unknown; distribution of a controlled substance (two counts);
  • Francine Jensen, address unknown; distribution of a controlled substance;

Charged in Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Tribal Court:

  • Lance Summers Fort Yates, North Dakota; criminal sale of drugs
  • Chad Yellow Lodge Fort Yates, North Dakota; criminal sale of drugs
  • Odette Elk, Fort Yates, North Dakota; criminal sale of drugs
  • Rodney Claymore, address unknown; criminal possession of drugs;
  • Claude Ramsey, address unknown; criminal possession of drug paraphernalia

An indictment or a complaint is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Operation Prairie Thunder cases are being prosecuted in North Dakota federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Delorme, in South Dakota federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Miller, and in Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Court by Chief Tribal Prosecutor Grant Walker.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


FBI Busts Alleged St. Louis Area Heroin Trafficking Ring

November 30, 2011
Heroin

STLToday.com on November 30, 2011 released the following:

“BY PATRICK M. O’CONNELL

ST. LOUIS • Sixteen members of an alleged drug trafficking ring that distributed and sold heroin throughout St. Charles and Madison counties have been indicted on an assortment of federal charges.

Ten people were arrested in a Tuesday morning sweep by the FBI. They face charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, firearms violations and money laundering. A total of 16 members of the alleged drug ring were indicted by a grand jury in September in U.S. District Court in St. Louis.

Four members were previously arrested and two remain at-large, the FBI said.

Cortez “Tez” White, 32, of Florissant, and Samantha Street, 23, of St. Louis County, allegedly served as the coordinators of the network, according to the charges, and used cellphones to oversee the trafficking and direct the drug runners. White also is charged with intent to distribute marijuana.

The group was responsible for the distribution of more than one kilogram of heroin, according to the indictment, then pocketed the profits.

Also arrested Tuesday were: Donald “Lil Don” White, 29, of St. Charles; Darnell “Lil Red” Lathan, 31, of Florissant; Charles Peoples, 31, of St. Louis; Reginald Davis, 33, of St. Louis County; Stephany “Ann” Fowler, 35, of St. Louis; Clarissa “Red” McCary, 36, of Florissant; Bridgett Corbett, 28, of O’Fallon, Mo.; and Philip Pratt, 26, of Pagedale.

The FBI continues to look for Orbia “Pops” Carthen, 52, of St. Louis County and Kevin Mulvill, 29, of Alton. Both were indicted with the others in September. Anyone with information about their location should call the FBI at 314-589-2500.

The investigation was launched in April 2009 after the FBI received a tip about the network. The FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force made the arrests in St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Ten Charged in Superseding Indictment for Alleged Racketeering and Narcotics Activity

September 14, 2010

A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned a superseding indictment today charging 10 individuals with narcotics and firearms offenses, federal racketeering conspiracy, and three murders in aid of racketeering activity, in connection with an ongoing investigation into a drug organization that operated in Barry Farm and other neighborhoods within the District of Columbia and the larger metropolitan area. The charges were announced today by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), Salvatore R. Lauro, Chief of the U.S. Park Police (USPP), and Roberto L. Hylton, Chief of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

The individuals initially were charged in a six-count federal indictment on March 10, 2010, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute phencyclidine (PCP), heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, within the District of Columbia and Maryland, and related drug charges. The original indictment covered criminal activities from August 2009 through March 2010.

The superseding indictment returned today stems from a continuing investigation of the individuals’ alleged drug organization and several acts of violence supposedly attributable to them. It covers crimes dating to 2006 and broadens the case to include newly filed racketeering and murder charges.

The government may be obtaining new information either from those already charged that have entered into cooperation agreements in hopes of a lesser sentence, or from other sources. It is also important to remember that an indictment does not require any evidence, nor is an indictment evidence of guilt itself.

As set forth in the superseding indictment, the drug organization began operating as early as 2006 with Mark Pray allegedly in charge. The superseding indictment alleges that Mark Pray, 29, enlisted family members, friends, and individuals known to him from Barry Farm and elsewhere to distribute controlled substances. The indictment alleges that members of the Pray Drug Organization regularly carried firearms to promote and protect the drug enterprise and its interests; that members of the enterprise committed, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence, including murder and robbery, to protect and expand the enterprise’s criminal operations; and further alleges that members of the enterprise promoted a climate of fear through violence and threats of violence.

The superseding indictment specifically charges Mark Pray and two co-defendants, Alonzo Marlow, 30, and Kenneth Benbow, 30, for their respective roles in three separate murders committed in aid of the charged racketeering activity, in the District of Columbia and Maryland, between 2008 and 2010. One killing was of a government witness, Crystal Washington, 44, who was shot to death April 10, 2009 in the District of Columbia. She was slain one business day before the start of a D.C. Superior Court trial at which Washington was to testify for the government against Mark Pray and three other individuals.

The indictment charges Mark Pray and Alonzo Marlow, who functioned as an “enforcer” for the Pray Drug Organization, with Washington’s death. Pray and Marlow also are charged with the January 13, 2010, murder of Jheryl Hodge 20, in the District of Columbia. According to the indictment, Marlow shot Hodge several times, in broad daylight, in the middle of the Barry Farm neighborhood. Pray and Kenneth Benbow are charged with the murder of Van Johnson Jr., 28, which took place September 24, 2008, in Prince George’s County.

In addition to Pray, Marlow and Benbow, the others indicted include: Randolph Danson, 25, Robert McMillan, 25, Timothy Moon, 23, Robert Smith, 31, Charles Wade, 25, Herman Williams, 19, and Larry Williams, 29.

All of the named individuals will be arraigned on the superseding indictment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on a date to be determined by the Court. All of the individuals face sentences from 10 years to life in prison if convicted.

The federal Murder in Aid of Racketeering charges against Mark Pray, Alonzo Marlow, and Kenneth Benbow are punishable by life imprisonment.

Because these individuals will be tried in a federal court, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines will apply if convicted.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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