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Patrick Springer, Published May 07 2009

Man orders Fargo federal judge to dismiss charges in drug case

FARGO - A drug trafficking case took a twist Thursday with the disclosure that a man identifying himself as a justice representing an American Indian confederation ordered the federal judge to dismiss charges against two defendants.

A recording of the call to U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson was filed as a court document in a case involving a methamphetamine trafficking case on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation set to go to trial Monday.

The man identifying himself as Michael Howard Reed, chief justice of the Grand National Council of Confederated Nations, and claimed Erickson had no jurisdiction against two defendants in the case, John Alexander Lenoir of Belcourt, N.D., and Patrick Lee Allery of St. John, N.D.

The man accused Erickson of violating his oath and federal laws and demanded that the judge dismiss the charges against the two men in 24 hours or “show cause” why he shouldn’t be subject to public censure.

“If not you will have to show cause in front of Congress and the whole state of North Dakota and you will have to produce your right of claim that you own this state, and you don’t own that court and that law.”

Todd Dudgeon, deputy clerk in charge of the U.S. Clerk of Courts in Fargo said he filed a notice Thursday of the recorded telephone call, made Tuesday to Erickson’s chambers, since the recording itself couldn’t be filed.

LaDonne Vik, Erickson’s law clerk, said he could not comment on the matter except to confirm that the recording was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service, and the trial will begin Monday as scheduled.

Bill Klug, a deputy U.S. Marshal, said he could not comment on the recording, which is the subject of an investigation.

For more on the story read Friday’s Forum.