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US Atty: Federal Bootlegging Charges In S.D. ‘Unique’

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The top federal prosecutor for South Dakota says his office has filed bootlegging charges against several people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in part because of concerns raised by community members.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Dakota announced last week that five people had pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges of possessing and selling alcohol on the dry reservation where alcoholism is rampant.

U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson told The Associated Press in an interview this week that the charges were brought as part of an operation by law enforcement to curtail bootlegging on the reservation.

He says the charges are “unique” but not unheard of.

Charges related to alcohol typically are brought in tribal court.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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