Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Dakota pipeline cases


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.

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