Activist Pleads Not Guilty In Pipeline Protest
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – An American Indian activist accused of inciting a riot during protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota has pleaded not guilty.
Chase Iron Eyes entered his plea Tuesday. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted on the felony charge. He also faces a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass.
Iron Eyes and 73 others were arrested Feb. 1 after setting up teepees on land that authorities say is owned by pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners. Protesters maintain they were peacefully assembling on land they believe rightfully belongs to American Indians.
Iron Eyes has said he doesn’t dispute his involvement but that he wasn’t the leader of the effort and had no authority to stop it.