Five from Pine Ridge Reservation face bootlegging charges

Five people from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota pleaded not guilty to federal bootlegging charges.

Marnie Water, Darrell Spotted Elk Sr., Florine Chipps, Merle Leighton Sr. and Julia Marie Lamont were charged with possessing and selling alcohol on a dry reservation. Each faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

"Nationally, it is pretty unique when a U.S. Attorney's Office brings bootlegging charges, but here, given the impact it has on the community, I felt it was appropriate to do it," U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson told the Associated Press.

The charges come after the Oglala Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit against liquor distributors and liquor stores in the border town of Whiteclay, Nebraska.

Get the Story:
US Attorney: Federal bootlegging charges 'unique' (AP 3/15)

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