Pine Ridge blockade planned to nab bootleggers 5-13-07

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Two women are scheduled to be sentenced
Monday for bootlegging on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as
another road blockade is being planned to stop the influx of alcohol
to the dry reservation.

Louise Jumping Eagle of Pine Ridge and Juanita Jumping Eagle of
Manderson pleaded guilty to the charge for selling vodka to a woman.

Each faces up to five years in prison at their sentencing in U.S.
District Court in Rapid City.

Marty Jackley, U.S. attorney for South Dakota, could not speak about
the case but said his office is increasingly prosecuting a statute
already on the books.

The federal bootlegging law, dispensing intoxicants in Indian
Country, allows prosecutors to charge offenders only if there's a
tribal ordinance that bans alcohol.

“You're only going to see this on Pine Ridge,” he said. “If the
tribe allows alcohol, then the federal statute does not kick in.”

Jackley said he has stepped up enforcement because of requests from
elders and tribal leaders concerned about chronic alcoholism.

At the same time, Duane Martin Sr., leader of a traditional Oglala
Lakota group, said he's planning another blockade this summer to curb
illegal alcohol sales.

This time Martin, of the Strong Heart Civil Rights Movement, said
he'll be ready to be handcuffed and taken to jail.

“I want them to arrest me because then we have a legitimate case in
court that gives us the exposure that there is this problem out
there,” he said. “They're going to come at me saying I violated
something. No, I'm preventing something.”

Alcohol is barred from the 5,000-square-mile reservation that's home
to more than 15,000 Oglala Sioux. The reservation has one of the
nation's highest alcoholism-related mortality rates.

Martin's ire is directed at four stores in Whiteclay, Neb., just
outside the reservation border. The stores sell an estimated 4
million of cans of alcohol annually, most of it to reservation

The stores have been a source of tension for years, and tribal
members have tried to stop the alcohol sales through the courts, the
county and the state licensing board.

Last June 28, actor and activist Russell Means, Martin and about a
dozen others tried to stop vehicles from Whiteclay headed to Pine

Their intent was to confiscate any booze. But they abandoned the plan
after tribal Police Chief James Twiss agreed to work with them to
find some way to ease the bootlegging problem.

Twiss did not answer telephone calls seeking comment about this
year's blockade, which is planned again for June 28.

Last year on the Nebraska-South Dakota state line, Twiss said the
roadblock was illegal. He acknowledged police have not done enough to
go after bootleggers who buy large quantities of beer in Whiteclay
and then distribute it on the reservation.

But Twiss, who grew up on the reservation, said his department
doesn't have the money or manpower to do more.

Martin said treaty law trumps tribal and federal law, and he has the
blessing of Oliver Red Cloud, chief of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, to
carry out the blockade.

Mark Vasina with Nebraskans for Peace said drastic actions are a
“moral necessity” because his state condones law breaking.

“Those illegal activities include sales to minors, beer in exchange
for sex and knowing sales to bootleggers who supply the Pine Ridge,”
he said.