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Crow Creek official charged with bribery; trial set

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news Mitchell, 57301

Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

FORT THOMPSON -- A Crow Creek tribal council and school board member pleaded not guilty Jan. 4 to a December indictment for misprision of a felony and making a false statement.

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Loren "Rocky" Fallis, 58, of Fort Thompson, allegedly hid information from authorities that he knew a felony had occurred, namely conspiracy to commit bribery of a tribal official.

A jury trial has been set for March.

Fallis' case is intertwined with other Crow Creek tribal officials who have been found guilty of bribery, conspiracy to bribe an official or similar charges.

Fallis' not guilty plea came on the heels of former Crow Creek tribal chairman Duane Big Eagle being sentenced to three years in prison for two counts of conspiracy and one count of bribery.

Fallis' charges stem from him allegedly lying to special agents of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Inspector General, about bribery that took place Oct. 21, 2008. He also failed to report the incident as soon as possible, according to the indictment.

Fallis is also accused of submitting a false statement about attending an Oct. 21, 2008, meeting, during which he and other tribal officials received money from contractor Archie Baumann, who was hired to build on the reservation.

The indictment says Fallis received money from Baumann on more than three occasions.

Misprision of a felony carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. The false statement charge carries a maximum five-year prison term, a $250,000 fine or both.

The Department of the Interior is investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges is prosecuting it.

Fallis is released on bond pending trial.

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