indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Appeals court bars tribal citizen from entering county in Michigan

Filed Under: Law
More on: 6th circuit, abuse, banishment, crime, eugene rantanen, kbic, michigan
     
   

Baraga County in Michigan. Photo: Jimmy Emerson

A citizen of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community who has been in trouble with the law for much of the past decade will not be allowed to return home for another nine years.

But unlike other high-profile banishment and disenrollment disputes, Eugene Rantanen's punishment was not of his tribe's doing. Instead he asked to be barred from entering Baraga County in Michigan because he was always getting into trouble there.

“I’ve got to remove myself from that area,” Rantanen once said after pleading guilty to yet another offense in 2014, according to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Rantanen, though, had a change in heart after that ordeal and sought to return back to the county, where his tribe is based. But a three-judge panel of the court wasn't having it.

"Exile is not a pleasant experience," Judge Danny Julián Boggs wrote in the March 29 decision, citing a Bible verse, a Roman poet, Dante's Paradiso and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet as proof. "Yet its purpose in the case before us was less punitive than preventive."

If Rantanen shows improvement -- he has sought substance abuse treatment numerous times only to fall "off the wagon" after returning home -- he could ask for the restriction to be lifted, the court said. Otherwise, there is no reason to disturb the conditions imposed on his sentence.

"Rantanen was using drugs and alcohol and then committing crimes while under their influence," the decision stated. "He had a history of repeatedly violating court orders and making poor decisions in Baraga County."

Rantanen's saga began back in 2008, when he was 18 years old and charged for sexually abusing a minor. He was convicted and sentenced to 4.75 years in prison for the crime, which occurred on the reservation.

He challenged the proceedings but the 6th Circuit, in a March 2012 decision, affirmed his conviction and sentence.

Rantanen, who will be turning 29 next week, completed his prison term in November 2013 but was still under ten years of supervised release. Upon his return home, he had numerous contacts with the justice system in Indian Country -- an arrest in June 2014, a guilty plea in January 2015 followed by a short stint in prison, a return to prison six months later, a sentence restriction in December 2015 based on drug abuse concerns and another arrest in January 2016 in connection with a series of crimes to which he pleaded guilty.

The last proceeding was the one when Rantanen asked to be barred from Baraga County. His attorney even brought up a medical assessment that backed up the request.

"After he is done with whatever additional prison time, he would do well not to return to the Baraga County area, and there are a lot of bad influences awaiting him there," a doctor at a substance abuse treatment facility wrote in the assessment, the court's decision read.

Baraga County is located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The areas around the communities of Baraga and L'Anse are where Rantanen kept getting into trouble. Both are located on the reservation.

6th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
U.S. v. Rantanen (March 29, 2017)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Supreme Court takes no action on long-running tribal land case (4/24)
Yakama Nation landowners see $68M in Cobell buy-back offers (4/24)
Tim Giago: Sovereignty at risk with Donald Trump in White House (4/24)
Mark Trahant: Donald Trump & Republicans can't seem to govern (4/24)
Native Sun News Today: Chickasaw citizen donates prom dresses (4/24)
Steve Russell: The BEST advertisement for education in America (4/24)
Arlana Bennett: Picking cans with my father became our tradition (4/24)
Terese Mailhot: Maybe some people should be able to play Indian (4/24)
Charles Kader: Tribal communities still face threats to their lands (4/24)
Mashantucket Tribe expresses interest in growing industrial hemp (4/24)
Shutdown of federal government looms ahead of April 28 deadline (4/24)
Confederate monuments start coming down as Jackson stays put (4/24)
Blackfeet Nation citizens approve historic water rights settlement (4/21)
Native Sun News Today: Cheyenne River Sioux woman still walking (4/21)
James Giago Davies: Our future is not bleak but bright with promise (4/21)
Rosalyn LaPier: Tradition blends with science in tribal communities (4/21)
Simon Moya-Smith: Media continues to peddle in Indian stereotypes (4/21)
Steven Newcomb: Bill in California dehumanizes indigenous peoples (4/21)
American Indian Library Association battles Trump's big budget cut (4/21)
Navajo Nation citizen faces death penalty for murder of tribal officer (4/21)
Meskwaki Tribe diversifies economy with barbecue sauces and more (4/21)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe must keep fighting despite gaming win (4/21)
Native Sun News Today: Body of missing Cheyenne River man found (4/20)
Ivan Star Comes Out: True tribal histories are concealed in America (4/20)
Steve Russell: Thoughts about sovereignty and tribal governments (4/20)
Dwanna Robertson: Dispelling a common myth about tribal gaming (4/20)
Whiteclay liquor stores ordered to shut down after losing licenses (4/20)
Cherokee Nation blames pharmaceutical industry for opioid crisis (4/20)
Eastern Cherokee citizens back chief amid call for impeachment (4/20)
North Carolina woman punished for abducting Cherokee children (4/20)
Ramapough Lenape Nation denied permit for anti-pipeline camp (4/20)
Ho-Chunk Nation remains confident as rival tribe sues over casino (4/20)
Nottawaseppi Huron Band invests casino funds in unique project (4/20)
Pechanga Band reaches midway point of $285M casino expansion (4/20)
More data needed to address human trafficking in Indian Country (4/19)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee set for 1st field oversight hearing (4/19)
Navajo Nation Council rejects bill to change name to 'Dine Nation' (4/19)
Non-Indian tenant loses bid to stay on Colorado River Reservation (4/19)
Native Sun News Today: Cheyenne River citizen opens bookstore (4/19)
Cheyenne-Arapaho citizen honored for law enforcement service (4/19)
Cronkite News: Attorney General links sanctuary cities to gangs (4/19)
Anna Hohag: Bringing indigenous science to water management (4/19)
Dakota Access Pipeline announces May 14 as first date of service (4/19)
Fort Peck Tribes finally gain access to federal criminal databases (4/19)
Mohegan Tribe wins approval to develop site of former hospital (4/19)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.