Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Charges dropped against Houle

Plans to go to trial on Rocky Boy charges for other 5 defendants


September 3, 2013

The prosecution has dropped charges against one defendant for embezzling federal stimulus money that went to Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, but is moving forward with prosecuting the remaining five defendants.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Montana has filed an unopposed motion to dismiss all 17 charges against Chippewa Cree Tribal Business Committee member John “Chance” Houle.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Rostad said this morning the government will continue to prosecute those charges against the other defendants: Tony Belcourt, CEO of the Chippewa Cree Construction Corp. and a former Business Committee member and state representative; his wife, Hailey Belcourt; and three Laurel residents, Mark and Tammy Leischner and Tammy Leischner’s father, James Howard Eastlick.

Rostad said he could not comment on why the prosecution is dropping the charges against Houle.

The defendants are accused of forming dummy companies and using unwitting out-of-state companies to funnel money that was allocated to go to the Rocky Boy’s/North Central Montana Regional Water System. Chippewa Cree Construction is the lead contractor on the project, which stemmed from the state and federal water compact with the Chippewa Cree Tribe.

Once completed, that system will provide treated water from Lake Elwell south of Chester to residents of Rocky Boy’s reservation and to people in towns and rural water water systems across the western part of north-central Montana. The system is designed to provide water to nearly 30,000 people in this region.

Rostad said new evidence has changed some of the details of the charges, which will require again going before a grand jury to indict the five defendants. He said that is the only way for the federal government to amend its charges.

He said that while some of the details of the allegations will change, the overall charges will remain about the same.

The defendants were indicted in April on 17 counts including conspiracy, wire fraud, theft from an Indian tribal government receiving government funding, receipt of stolen money in interstate commerce and money laundering.

According to the motion to dismiss the charges against Houle, the prosecution intends to continue preparing for the case to go to trial Nov. 12.


Reader Comments

WaylonDenny writes:

BTW.. I believe the word your shooting for is psychopaths not sycophants, and please always keep in mind. Successful people are those who are willing and able to lay a firm foundation down with the bricks others have thrown at them. Godspeed!

WaylonDenny writes:

My father Spud Denny does not need anyone to speak for him, but I will anyway. He also does not expect nor depend on any help from Chance Houle and/or other current/future councilmen. He has earned his living off the Reservation the American way (w/ his back & the sweat of his brow), unlike so many of you lazy people in RB. Try leaving the Reservation to earn a good living and good retirement like he did. Then you won't have to worry about which councilman gets in every two-years either.

luv4chance writes:

Spud Denny & Tony Woods kissee kissee smoochie smoochie.

sicko writes:

Did anyone notice the comments submitted to the Great Falls Tribune by Spud Denny and Tony Woods about Chance? These two sycophants were conspicuously silent for the last several months. But, now they are the true supporters of the alleged thief. Why didn't you two speak up in support of Chance when it would have taken courage to do so?....now, you both think he is going to help you. We, the people of Rocky Boy, are not going to tolerate business as usual.

EagleII writes:

Rocky Boy Tribal Council members and so-called businessmen have bestowed the negative image themselves. No media necessary. Just because charges were dropped does not mean criminal activity didn't happen. Good grief. I hardly think Mr. Leeds padded the pockets of those charged. Point the finger and blame where it belongs!

Funny writes:

Mighty strange how this story did not remain prominent on HDN's homepage for two weeks like the initial stories. What's up Tim Leeds, disappointed that your boy Blattman let you down or is the story too positive when it comes to the negative image you are attempting bestow upon Rocky Boy.

EagleII writes:

Witch hunt? Quota? Are you out of your mind? This isn't too tough to figure out, when people roll over they get deals. I don't care how many more people are drug through the mud. I personally hope there's about ten more! This has to stop!

hello2013 writes:

wheres your big blowout headlines Tim Leeds????....its not bad news so you publish it in small print..!!!....no wonder you have no respect...

Smh writes:

Woohoo!!! Well that is good news to hear. And mzmontana let the evidence speak for itself. Quit assuming and starting up rumors. The Havre Daily loves this type of comments especially when it turns out to be untrue.

Finally writes:

Finally - no mention of Kenny Blattman St Marks. Maybe Tim Leeds realized that he was used and abused and duped by Blattman. Think about it people, these investigations were happening long before your savior got into office, he just recognized an opportunity to further his personal agenda - manipulated it, used it and used you for all it was worth. Hopefully, the gullible wont be so gullible when the next election comes around and can see through Blattman's smoke and mirrors.

MzMontana writes:

I am wondering if agreed to testify in return for having the charges dropped.

Wellwellwell writes:

I wonder how many more names will be dragged through the mud before this witch hunt and race to get their quota is over?


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