Judge dismisses charges against 4 in major walleye poaching case


A federal judge threw out indictments Monday against four Minnesota tribal members accused of poaching walleye and other fish on the Leech Lake Indian reservation and selling them illegally.

The Star Tribune reports U.S. District Judge John Tunheim said Michael Brown, Jerry Reyes and Marc Lyons, all members of the Leech Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, and Frederick Tibbetts, a member of the White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians, are protected under a 176-year-old treaty with the Chippewa.

"The 1837 Treaty protects defendants’ right to fish on the reservation and Congress has not specifically abrogated that right,” Tunheim said.

The four were among 10 indicted on federal charges of transporting, selling and purchasing fish taken in violation of the Lacey Act after a three-year investigation by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The investigation, called "Operation Squarehook," uncovered the state's largest case of illegal fish commercialization in two decades.

State charges, most of them misdemeanors, were brought against more than 20 nontribal residents in six northern Minnesota counties.

Next Up

Jaden McDaniels

Wolves lose to Magic on Cole Anthony's buzzer-beater

The Wolves blew a 20-point lead as the Magic defeated the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

J.A. Happ

Twins sign veteran J.A. Happ to add to the rotation

The left-hander will get a one-year, $8 million deal from the Twins.

storm the capitol rally st. paul minnesota state capitol

BCA finds 'no criminal wrongdoing' among those at 'Storm the Capitol' rally

Inflammatory comments were made by speakers, but no charges will be brought.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 12.27.04 PM

Man's vehicles crushed by hit-and-run driver weren't fully insured

The goal is to raise $25,000 to help the south Minneapolis resident.

Joe Biden

Key points from Joe Biden's first speech as POTUS

The 46th president called for unity at a time America is facing huge challenges.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 20

The 111 ICU patients is the fewest in Minnesota since there were 109 COVID patients in intensive care on Oct. 1.


Here's what Amy Klobuchar said at Joe Biden's inauguration

The Minnesota senator was one of the leader organizers of the inauguration.

covid-19, vaccine

All of this week's COVID vaccine pilot program appointments are filled

Nearly 6,000 Minnesotans who are 65 and older registered for appointments between noon Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Osterholm affidavit ahead of George Floyd trial warns of COVID worsening in March

Prosecutors want to delay the Chauvin trial due to a public health threat.