Federal judge gets 'confederation' order in drug case
FARGO A drug-trafficking case took a twist Thursday with the disclosure that a man identifying himself as a justice representing a confederation of American Indian nations ordered the judge to dismiss charges against two defendants. A recording o...
A drug-trafficking case took a twist Thursday with the disclosure that a man identifying himself as a justice representing a confederation of American Indian nations ordered the judge to dismiss charges against two defendants.
A recording of the call to U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson was filed as a court document in a case involving methamphetamine-trafficking on North Dakota's Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation. The case is set to go to trial Monday.
The man identified himself as Michael Howard Reed, chief justice of the Grand National Council of Confederated Nations, and claimed Erickson had no jurisdiction against two defendants in the case, John Alexander Lenoir of Belcourt and Patrick Lee Allery of St. John.
The man accused Erickson of violating his oath as well as federal laws, and demanded that the judge dismiss the charges against the two men in 24 hours or "show cause" why he shouldn't be subject to public censure.
"If not you will have to show cause in front of Congress and the whole state of North Dakota and you will have to produce your right of claim that you own this state, and you don't own that court and that law."
Todd Dudgeon, deputy clerk in charge of the U.S. Clerk of Courts in Fargo, said he filed a notice Thursday of the recorded telephone call, made Tuesday to Erickson's chambers, since the recording itself couldn't be filed.
LaDonne Vik, Erickson's law clerk, said he could not comment on the matter except to confirm that the recording was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service, and the trial will begin as scheduled.
Bill Klug, a deputy U.S. Marshal, said he could not comment on the recording, which is the subject of an investigation. U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley, whose office is prosecuting the drug case, also declined to comment.
The drug-trafficking case, whose primary defendant is Miguel Angel Chavez, involves allegations of identity theft and money laundering. If convicted of running a continuing criminal enterprise, Chavez faces a mandatory life sentence.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.