Federal Criminal Cases


WPLC is providing legal support for five Water Protectors with federal criminal charges arising from October 27, 2016.

Each of these Water Protectors has their own legal team of experienced movement attorneys, investigators and legal workers. WPLC supports these defense teams through: covering all of the transportation and other travel costs for the legal defense work (court appearances, conducting investigations and travel to client visits or meetings);  supporting coordination and communication among the defense teams; public information, publicity and media relations assistance; and several of our staff members and volunteers work directly on the cases conducting research and investigations.  WPLC also works with families and close community members to help them create support committees that can provide a range of long-term support and assistance directly to the individual Water Protectors as they prepare for trials or are incarcerated and serving prison time.

Three of these Water Protectors have accepted non-cooperating plea agreements:

Red Fawn Fallis

Red Fawn is incarcerated at the Burleigh/Morton County Detention Center in Bismarck awaiting sentencing on June 25, 2018. Under her plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of no more than seven years in prison, although the judge does have the authority to go as high as 10 years on these charges. There is no minimum sentence.

Michael “Little Feather” Giron

On May 30, 2018, Little Feather was sentenced to a 36 month federal prison term for Civil Disorder.  He is currently incarcerated at the Burleigh/Morton County Detention Center in Bismarck waiting to be transferred into BOP custody. We do not yet know when or where he will be moved to serve the rest of his sentence.

Michael “Rattler” Markus

Rattler is out on supervised pretrial release awaiting sentencing on August 6, 2018. Under his plea agreement,  there will be a joint recommendation of 36 months in prison for Civil Disorder.

Two of these Water Protectors are preparing for trial:

Dion Ortiz

Dion is incarcerated at a halfway house in Ohkay Owingeh, NM as he prepares for trial.

James “Angry Bird” White

Angry Bird is on pretrial release as he prepares for trial.

Please click on their names to visit their respective case pages for information about their cases and how you can support them.  For details about how you can support these or any Water Protectors who are in prison, see our Water Protector Prisoners page.

Please also consider making a donation to the collective legal expenses for these Water Protectors here (by selecting  the “Federal Criminal Defense” earmark.)