Blackfeet leader wants federal charges dropped


HELENA, Mont. - The attorney for a state senator and Blackfeet tribal leader is asking a judge to drop federal drunken-driving and obstruction charges just days before his trial is to start.
Joe McKay is the attorney representing Shannon Augare (OH'-zhair), a Browning Democrat and Blackfeet Tribal Business Council member. McKay argues in a Friday court filing that the U.S. attorney's office no longer has the jurisdiction to prosecute Augare for allegedly fleeing a Glacier County sheriff's deputy who pulled Augare over for drunken driving.
McKay argues that Augare pleaded guilty to the same charges in tribal court Oct. 23, and his punishment by a tribal judge removes the federal court's jurisdiction.
Federal prosecutors have not responded. U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong has not ruled on McKay's request.
Augare's trial is set for Thursday.

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