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Three tribal officials charged in bribery scheme

WASHINGTON – Two current tribal government officials and one former tribal government official of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (MHA Nation) were charged by criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday for their alleged acceptance of bribes and kickbacks from a contractor providing construction services on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, which is the home of the MHA Nation.

Randall Jude Phelan, 55, of Mandaree, and Delvin Reeves, 52, of Watford City, were charged in complaints supported by one affidavit, while Frank Charles Grady, 52, of Hardin, Montana, was charged in a complaint supported by a second affidavit. All three defendants were charged in the District of North Dakota with one count of conspiracy and one count of federal programs bribery. Phelan and Reeves made their initial appearances in the District of North Dakota before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alice R. Senechal today. Grady made his initial appearance in the District of Montana before U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan on Thursday.

According to the affidavits in support of the complaints against them, Phelan has been a representative on the tribal Business Council, the elected governing body of the MHA Nation, since approximately November 2012, and Reeves is a paid employee of the tribal government. Grady was a tribal Business Council representative from approximately November 2014 until November 2018.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Drew H. Wrigley for the District of North Dakota, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Aubree M. Schwartz of the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office made the announcement.

Watch for more information in the Weekend Edition of The Minot Daily News.

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