Published On: Mon, Feb 14th, 2011
News | By

Federal Indictments filed on Cherokee Cases

            The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina announced several indictments by a federal grand jury on Feb. 11.  The public is reminded that an indictment contains mere allegations.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Wolfe charged with Assault with a Dangerous Weapon

Yulonda Renee Wolfe, 39, was indicted on one count alleging assault with a dangerous weapon.  The incident, according to the indictment, occurred on June 10, 2010, in Swain County, which is within the boundaries of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reservation. If convicted, Wolfe faces a maximum charge of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.  A trial date has not yet been set. 

Martin charged with Federal Firearms Offenses

Brandon Keith Martin, 28, was indicted on three counts alleging federal firearms offenses. Count one of the indictment charges Martin with stealing firearms which have moved in interstate or foreign commerce (a violation that carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine).  Count two charges him with possession, concealment and disposal of stolen firearms (a violation that carries a maximum of 10 years in federal prison), and count three charges him with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (a violation that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment).  The alleged offenses occurred in July 2009 in Swain County, which is within the boundaries of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reservation.  A trial date has not yet been set. 

Four charged on Drug and Firearms Violations

Zachariah Lightening Rattler (a/k/a “Zebo”), 33, Kevin Robert Wahnetah, 23, Joshua Levi West, 22, and Jacob Dewayne Wolfe, 23 were all indicted on several counts alleging various drug and firearms violations.  Rattler, Wahnetah and West are charged with stealing firearms which have moved in interstate or foreign commerce (a violation that carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine); possession, concealment and disposal of stolen firearms (a violation that carries a maximum of 10 years in federal prison); use or possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime (a violation that carries a mandatory minimum of 5 years imprisonment); and possession of a firearm by a person addicted to a controlled substance (a violation that carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,00 fine).  West is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (a violation that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment).  The fourth defendant, Wolfe, is charged with possession of a firearm by a person addicted to a controlled substance (a violation that carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,00 fine) and possession, concealment and disposal of stolen firearms (a violation that carries a maximum of 10 years in federal prison).  According to the indictments, the incidents occurred in July 2010, in Swain County, NC which is within the boundaries of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reservation. A trial date for the defendants has not yet been set.

Reed and Reed charged with Embezzlement and Theft

Dorine Renea Reed, 33, and Lucy Christine Reed, 54, were indicted on allegations of embezzlement and theft. According to the indictment, the defendants embezzled over $1,000 from the Cherokee Historical Association, an EBCI tribal organization.  The two women each face a maximum prison sentence, if convicted, of five years and a $250,000 fine.  The alleged offense took place in 2008 in Swain County, NC, which is within the boundaries of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reservation.  A trial date for the defendants has not yet been set. 

Cook and Moreno charged with Drug-Related Crimes

Thomas Lee Cook, 27, and Humberto Longoria Moreno, 42, were indicted on allegations of drug-related crimes.  Count one of the superseding indictment charges both defendants with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a violation that carries a minimum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $4,000,000.  Count two charges Cook and Moreno with the laundering of monies obtained from the sale or distribution of a controlled substance, and knowing that monies were obtained from such unlawful activity.  For these violations, the defendants face a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a $500,000 fine, if convicted.  The alleged criminal activity took place from 2007 to 2009 in Jackson County which is within the boundaries of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reservation.  A trial date for the defendants has not yet been set. 

–  DOJ

print