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Lakota farm family bails out of jail

Rodney Brossart, the Lakota, N.D., farmer arrested in a farm field Nov. 6 after a three-month standoff with law enforcement, has paid his cash bail totaling $165,000.

Brossart family
From left to right, Alex, Jacob, Thomas, Rodney, Abby and Susan Brossart.

Rodney Brossart, the Lakota, N.D., farmer arrested in a farm field Nov. 6 after a three-month standoff with law enforcement, has paid his cash bail totaling $165,000.

According to the Nelson County clerk of court's office in Lakota, he paid bail Nov. 17 and was released from the regional jail in Devils Lake.

Brossart's three sons, Alex, 26, Thomas, 24 and Jacob, 21, bailed out a week earlier, each paying a total of $30,000.

Altogether, the Brossarts had to come up with $255,000 in cash to be freed while awaiting arraignment Dec. 30.

His daughter, Abby Brossart, 29, was released Nov. 7 after making bail on a $2,000 bond following a court hearing.


Multiple charges

Brossart, 55, is charged with theft of property, terrorizing and failure to appear in court, or bail jumping; all three charges are Class C felonies with maximum penalties of five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. He also faces misdemeanor charges of preventing arrest and failing to return stray cattle.

His sons face terrorizing and bail-jumping charges. His daughter faces simple assault and bail-jumping charges, both Class C felonies, as well as a misdemeanor harassment charge for allegedly calling in reports last summer that deputies were threatening her family members.

Brossart and his four children are scheduled to appear in court Dec. 30.

Meanwhile, his wife Susan Brossart is scheduled to appear Monday for a pre-trial conference on a Class A misdemeanor charge of lying to law enforcement officers in July about how many firearms the family possessed during a warranted search in which several guns were confiscated.

Paying the cost

Rodney and Susan Brossart own about 3,500 acres near their farm home southeast of Lakota, according to court records.

Last summer, the couple signed over 160 acres to Brossart's mother, who then deeded the land to a Devils Lake bail bond company to bail out family members after the June arrests. But the bail bondsman cancelled the bond last month because they had failed to appear at earlier hearings. That meant they had to come up with the $255,000 in cash.


Rodney Brossart has a history of feuds with neighbors and county officials, including law suits and court charges over property lines and county road maintenance. The current charges stem from an incident in June, when he allegedly refused to return a neighbor's three cows with their calves after they had wandered on to his land. Sheriff's deputies confronted him, but he allegedly resisted arrest and the family allegedly threatened the deputies.

Warrants for their arrest were issued in late August and early September, but Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke said he wanted to avoid a possibly violent confrontation and kept trying to persuade them to surrender.

Janke and a deputy arrested Brossart and his son Jacob on Nov. 6 in a tractor cab in a field. Abby, Thomas and Alex surrendered later that day.

Reach Lee at (701) 780-1237; (800) 477-6572, ext. 237; or send email to slee@gfherald.com .

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