Friday, February 7, 2014

Tribal Disenrollment: Grand Jury Indictment in Berry Creek Rancheria Takeover

A Grand Jury indictment was unsealed today in Butte County Superior Court against 24 people allegedly involved in a takeover and vandalism last May at the Tyme Maidu Tribal Offices at Gold Country Casino, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Each of the defendants faces a charge of felony vandalism causing damage over $400, but three of the defendants face other allegations.
Of the 24 people named in the indictment, 21 were arraigned today before Judge Tamara Mosbarger.
The other three people named did not appear in court, and warrants have been issued for their arrests.
Nineteen of the defendants were arrested during the initial incident. Five others were not at the scene.
The indictments stem from an incident May 16, 2013, where 19 people locked and barricaded themselves inside the tribal offices for nearly 12 hours, reportedly over the tribe's disenrolling some individuals.
The Grand Jury met for two days last month hearing testimony and evidence in the case, according to District Attorney Mike Ramsey.
Ramsey told this newspaper there was considerable surveillance video footage of incident. He said video reportedly shows four people who drove pickups to the site with tools, lumber and chicken wire before the standoff began.
Another defendant allegedly worked on the inside and provided the group with a key.
The Grand Jury also heard testimony about a claim that the group sought to take over the Gold Country Casino and related bank accounts, Ramsey said.
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