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Six charged in federal court with kidnapping Indigenous teen on Fort Peck Reservation

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Six people have been indicted in federal court in connection to the kidnapping and assault of an Indigenous teenage girl on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation last year.

All six allegedly kidnapped a 15-year-old girl, according to charging documents filed in U.S. District Court Earlier this month, and all of the accused are residents of Wolf Point. The charges followed an investigation conducted by the FBI, Fort Peck Law Enforcement, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and Wolf Point Police Department.

Cheri Cruz Granbois, Dylan Troy Jackson, Elmarie Amelia Weeks, Lavanchie Patricia Goodbird, Kaylee Jade Jackson and Patti Jo Annunciata Mail allegedly abducted the teen Sept. 15, 2021, court documents said. Prior to the indictment, RCSO named Granbois, 20, as a suspect in the kidnapping, the Gazette previously reported.

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Five of the accused have pleaded not guilty during arraignments in U.S. District Court in Great Falls, according to court records. Only Dylan Jackson has yet to appear. Dylan Jackson, Granbois, Weeks, Goodbird and Mail are facing counts of kidnapping of individual under 18, assault resulting in serious bodily injury and assault resulting in substantial injury of a minor. Kaylee Jackson faces only one count of kidnapping an individual under 18, court documents said. 

The 15-year-old’s abduction last year prompted an Amber Alert, with RCSO stating several people assaulted the girl before forcing her into a pickup truck allegedly driven by Granbois. The same day the alert was issued, the sheriff’s office announced the girl had been found.

If convicted of kidnapping, the six could face up to 20 years in prison, along with a fine of up to $250,000.

French cement company Lafarge pleaded guilty Tuesday to paying millions of dollars to the Islamic State group so that a plant in Syria could remain open, a case that the Justice Department described as the first of its kind. The company agreed to pay criminal fines of roughly $91 million and forfeit an additional $687 million for a total penalty of roughly $778 million. Prosecutors accused the company of turning a blind eye to the conduct of the militant group, paying to it at a time when it was involved in torturing kidnapped Westerners. “The defendants routed nearly six million dollars in illicit payments to two of the world’s most notorious terrorist organizations - ISIS and al-Nusrah Front in Syria - at a time those groups were brutalizing innocent civilians in Syria and actively plotting to harm Americans,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen, the Justice Department's top national security official, said in a statement. “There is simply no justification for a multi-national corporation authorizing payments to designated terrorist organization,” he added. The charges were announced by federal prosecutors in New York City and by senior Justice Department leaders from Washington. The allegations involve conduct that was earlier investigated by authorities in France. The Islamic State group is abbreviated as IS and has been referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

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