- Staff | (AP) APR 23 2017
BISMARCK, N.D. — Authorities dropped nearly three dozen cases last month that stemmed from arrests of protesters against the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline, court records show.
The Bismarck Tribune reported Saturday that prosecutors and judges dropped the 33 misdemeanor cases while another 14 were resolved by guilty pleas. Most of the cases dropped last month related to criminal trespass charges from the late summer and fall.
Prosecutors struggled to prove those charges before Judge Allan Schmalenberger, who ruled in multiple cases that the Morton County State’s Attorney office had failed to meet its burden of proving that protesters were given proper notice that they were on private land, either with signs or verbal warnings.
Demonstrators staged months of protests near the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota to try to stop the $3.8 billion, four-state pipeline, saying it will pollute…
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