A Minnesota man received a 30-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to mail fraud for promising two South Dakota farming families he would broker a loan for them but instead kept the money.

John Pitlick, 44, of New Hope, Minn., was sentenced to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, $300,000 in restitution and a $100 assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund.

Starting in April 2007, Pitlick represented that he would broker a loan between the families and they transferred a total of $300,000 to Pitlick's business. Pitlick received the funds but no loan was ever made to the families.

Pitlick pleaded guilty on June 2 to the Sept. 8, 2010, federal grand jury indictment and was sentenced on Aug. 26, 2011.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Koliner. Pitlick was ordered to self report on Sept. 19 to begin his prison sentence.

In other federal court action:

  • Brent Two Bear, 22, was sentenced to 235 months in prison after pleading guilty to engaging in sexual contact with a juvenile under the age of 12.
  • Jeanie Lynn Swanson, 27, of Washington, was sentenced to 24 months in prison, three years supervised release, a $100 victim assessment and $9,391.87 in restitution after pleading guilty to knowingly using an altered, fraudulent credit card linked to another person to pay for car repairs.
  • James Bruguier, aka James Bruguier, Jr., 25, of Lake Andes, was found guilty by a federal jury of aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a minor and first-degree burglary for separate sexual assaults on an adult and two teenagers from the Yankton reservation. Bruguier faces 15 years in prison.
  • Michael Seibel, 40, of McLaughlin, was found guilty by a federal jury of four counts related to his sexual abuse of two adopted children on the Standing Rock Reservation. Seibel faces up to 34 years in prison.
  • Patrick Brown Thunder, 30, of Eagle Butte, has pleaded not guilty to a federal grand jury indictment for sexual abuse of a person incapable of consenting, sexual abuse of a minor and kidnapping. If convicted, Brown Thunder faces up to life in prison. He was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal. The trial date has not been set.
  • Conrad Fleury, 30, of Fort Thompson, has pleaded not guilty to a federal grand jury indictment for assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. If convicted, Fleury faces up to 10 years in prison. He was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal. The trial date has not been set.
  • Valencia Four Horns, aka Valencia Boneshirt, 33, of St. Francis, has pleaded not guilty to a federal grand jury indictment for assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. If convicted, Four Horns faces up to 10 years in prison. She was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal. The trial date has not been set.
  • Anthony Quinn Hero, 26, of Mission, has pleaded not guilty to a federal grand jury indictment for assault resulting in serious bodily injury. If convicted, Hero faces up to 10 years in prison. He was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal. The trial date has not been set.
  • Charles Ross, 69, of Pierre, has pleaded not guilty to a federal grand jury indictment for unlawful taking of migratory birds. If convicted, Ross faces up to six months in custody. Ross was released on bond pending trial, which has not been set.
  • Alvin Lee White Dress, 32, of Pine Ridge, has pleaded not guilty to a federal grand jury indictment for unlawfully stealing an automobile belonging to another person. If convicted, White Dress faces up to five years in prison. He was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal. The trial date has not been set.

The U.S. Attorney generally prosecutes felonies committed on reservations, while tribal courts handle misdemeanor crimes. Felonies that happen off the reservation are prosecuted in state/circuit court and are reported separately in the Journal. Some drug and firearms cases are also prosecuted in federal court. All charges carry the possibility of fines up to $250,000 upon conviction unless otherwise noted.

 

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