Felony charges being pursued related to Dakota Access Pipeline protests
Morton County authorities are investigating multiple protest activities in an area north of Almont that occurred Wednesday morning. Law enforcement arrested three individuals for felony reckless endangerment for being attached to construction equipment. Officers also arrested two other men for C felony conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment and other misdemeanor charges for their involvement in assisting unlawful protesters in attaching to equipment. Reckless Endangerment carries the maximum punishment of five years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
In addition, officers made a traffic stop on County Road 86 near the construction area. The driver was arrested for conspiracy to commit obstruction of a government function. Officers say they witnessed the driver transporting protesters. During an inventory search of the vehicle, officers found paint and mechanisms protesters are using to attach themselves to construction equipment. Authorities have impounded the van.
Law enforcement also arrested two men after they were connected to trespassing on another construction site. They were found walking in the area. They were both arrested for conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment, conspiracy to commit obstruction of a government function, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. One was arrested for criminal facilitation. The other person was arrested for conspiracy to commit criminal facilitation and both were arrested for criminal trespass.
In total, eight people were arrested on charges related to illegal protest activities Wednesday.
Carlo Voli and Corey Maxa were arrested Tuesday, September and will face an additional charge of reckless endangerment for attaching themselves to equipment. They are also charged with numerous misdemeanor charges as listed below.
“The Morton County States Attorney’s office will pursue felony charges against the protesters who attached themselves to equipment due to the seriousness of the crime. Law enforcement officers are put in a dangerous situation when freeing these individuals, there is also a danger posed to DAPL, their workers and equipment along with the protester putting themselves also in a dangerous circumstance. We continue to encourage people to protest in peaceful and lawful manners,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier.
Below is a list of the individuals arrested and charged on September 13 for unlawful protest activities:
Olowan Martinez, 42, SD - Criminal trespass + wanted in Nebraska for Terroristic threats, theft, criminal mischief x2
Nicholas Georgiades, 34, MN - Criminal Trespass
Charlie Thayer, 31, MN - Criminal trespass
Kristina Golden, 31, MN - Criminal trespass
Dale Americanhorse, Jr., 26, SD - Criminal trespass second offense
Kathryn Thunderhawk, 44, SD - Criminal trespass
Robert Swimmer, 25, SD - Criminal trespass
Philip Strickland, 28, VT - Criminal trespass
Christopher Schiano, 26, CO - Criminal trespass
Carlo Voli, 50, WA - Reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, obstruction of a government function
Kimberly Smith, 32, AZ - Criminal trespass
Lauren Roellig, 28, CA - Criminal trespass
Juaquin Moreno, 27, NM - Criminal trespass
Emily Weisbery, 26, WA - Criminal trespass
Brittany Johnson, 28, OR - Criminal trespass
Corey Maxa, 23, VA - Reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, obstruction of a government function
Orion Yazzie-nightwalker, 29, NM - Criminal trespass
Eli Damm, 33, WA - Criminal trespass
Eric Lewis, 25, NM - Criminal trespass
Karla Lorenzanaayala, 26, CA - Criminal trespass
Eric Moll, 27, TX - Criminal trespass
Anthony Fernandes, 37, WA - Criminal trespass
Arnold Schorder, 37, OR - Criminal trespass
As of September 14, a total of 69 individuals have been arrested for illegal protest activities.