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Utah 'medicine man' and wife called drug dealers

A self-proclaimed "medicine man" and his wife pleaded guilty on Friday to a host of drug charges after being arrested for possession and distribution of peyote.

James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney, 61, and his wife Linda, 51, claim to belong to the Native American Church. But neither are members of federally recognized tribes or bona-fide members of the church, federal prosecutors said.

"Basically, they were drug dealers," assistant U.S. attorney Richard Lambert told the Associated Press.

Peyote is a sacrament of the Native American Church. It is considered an illegal drug but federal law allows members of the church to use it for ceremonies.

Get the Story:
Couple plead not guilty to peyote charges (The Salt Lake Tribune 6/25)
Couple pleads not guilty to peyote use in religious rites (AP 6/25)
Mooney Hearing (The Provo Daily Herald 6/25)

Peyote Decision:
State of Utah v. Mooney (June 22, 2004) (7/12)

Relevant Links:
Utah Native American Church -

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