Dec 4, 2014 - Theft from Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Spirit Camp
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Rosebud Sioux Tribe Spirit Camp near Ideal, SD: In a surprising move of boldness and lack of regard for treaty and property rights, a farmer allegedly stole 29 of the 1,500 lb alfalfa bales from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Spirit Camp near Ideal, SD this afternoon. Camp resident, Leota Iron Cloud, attempted to make contact with the semi-truck driver as she was contacting people by phone to make them aware that someone was taking the bales. The driver of the truck made a hasty retreat off the tribal land across an adjacent field. The first bales removed by the farmer and his staff were removed from the barrier protecting the sweat lodges where ceremonies are held at the camp. The second series of thefts occurred at the tipi area where several more bales were taken from the south side of the encampment. The tribal police, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Tripp County sheriff were notified as well as the South Dakota highway patrol.
The criminal act of taking bales rightfully owned by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and located on tribally-owned land, held in trust by the United States Federal Government, was witnessed by Iron Cloud, one of the camp residents. The farmer stole bales that were taken from another piece of tribally-owned land that did not have a lease. The bales were confiscated because the land did not have a lease.
When contacted through the Winner dispatch, a person identified as Tasha indicated that the Tripp County Sheriff’s office passed the investigation off to the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Police. This is an investigation into the theft of tribal owned property from trust land, which is a Federal Offense.
Since this is a Federal Offense, which involves a Non-Indian offender against an Indian Tribe, this investigation bears investigative action by the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Police and the United States Attorney’s Office.
Section 1163 of Title 18 USC makes embezzlement, theft, criminal conversion, and willful misapplication of any of the moneys, funds, credits, goods, assets or other property belonging to any tribal organization a crime. It is a felony if the amount taken exceeds $1,000, and is subject to imprisonment for a maximum of 5 years, a fine pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3571 which cannot exceed $250,000, or both. The value of the bales stolen from the grounds of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Spirit Camp on December 2, 2014, combined with transportation costs and overhead is approximately $5,000. A non-Indian is also subject to this law.
It is no mistake that this is a criminal act of the highest degree, far removed from the civil argument over the loss of unleased crops from almost a year ago. The unleased crops themselves presented a case of Trespass. The bales were seized and returned to the tribe under authority of 25 CFR 162.106. Section 162.106 (a) of this Federal Regulation specifically states If an agricultural lease is required, and possession is taken without an agricultural lease by a party other than an Indian Landowner of the Tract we [BIA] will treat the unauthorized use as a trespass. Unless we have reason to believe that the party in possession is engaged in negotiations with the Indian landowners to obtain an agricultural lease, we will take action to recover possession on behalf of the Indian landowners.
The farmer alleges that the bales are his crop from last year; however, he had not leased the land, and this shows that this is clearly a pre-meditated act of theft of tribal property which was located on tribal trust land at the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Spirit Camp. The farmer has taken the bales to his own property which is located 7 miles away from the Spirit Camp.
Photo by Gary Dorr: View south over the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Spirit Camp where hay bales of the south wall were stolen. The sweat lodge in the upper right along the road had all of the hay bales surrounding it stolen
For more information please contact:
Contact: Wayne Frederick, Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council Representative
Gary Dorr, Oyate Wahacanka Woecun, Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (605) 828-1266