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Blackfeet Nation leader continues to dispute federal charges

Montana Sen. Shannon Augare (D). Photo Montana Legislature

A council member for the Blackfeet Nation of Montana who has been indicted in federal court will once again ask a judge to dismiss the charges.

Shannon Augare, who also serves as a state senator, was charged in connection with a drunken driving incident on the reservation. He claims the federal government lacks jurisdiction and notes that he already pleaded guilty in tribal court.

"When I was first charged, my first thought was ‘I’m an elected official and a lot of people are going to be paying attention to this issue right away,’” Augare said at a press conference on Tuesday, The Great Falls Tribune reported. “And the one thing that I need to ensure is the sovereignty rights of this nation are reserved.”

The federal courts have ruled that Indian defendants can be tried in tribal and federal court for the same crime because tribes are separate sovereigns.

Get the Story:
Augare takes 'sole responsibility': DUI at center of senator's suspension (The Great Falls Tribune 10/30)
Feds offer to help in Blackfeet dispute (AP 10/29)

Related Stories:
Indicted Blackfeet Nation leader schedules press conference (10/28)
Blackfeet Nation council member pleads guilty in tribe's court (10/25)
Leadership of Blackfeet Nation in dispute amid corruption cases (10/23)
Blackfeet Nation council member heads to trial on November 7 (10/16)
Indicted Blackfeet Nation council member won't quit position (10/15)

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