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March 19, 2009

Voss arrested on neglect charges, FBI to investigate

Jonathan Voss was arrested by Mercer County deputies Friday, March 13 in Stark County and returned to the Mercer County Detention Center in Stanton. Voss, identified in court documents alternately as John Voss and as Jonathon V. Voss, was arrested on two counts of Livestock running at Large, class "B" misdemeanors, and five counts of Over Working, Mistreating or Abandoning Animals, class "A" misdemeanors. An arrest warrant was issued March 11 by District Judge Thomas Schneider. Voss was released March 14 around 6 p.m. on $1,000 cash bond.

"On Monday (March 9) this week I met with the special agent in charge at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and asked that he review this case to decide if charges should be brought against tribal members and to review (Voss) documents at American Bank Center. It’ll be their determination whether any federal offenses have occurred," Mercer County Sheriff Dean Danzeisen said.

According to court documents, the charges stem from reports from residents of Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in the Twin Buttes area, dating from Jan. 28, of cattle not being fed or watered. Danzeisen was contacted by Howard Beemer, Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Land Management, requesting assistance in an investigation into a resident’s complaint that there were starving cattle, belonging to Voss, on her property.

According to court documents the following is a timetable of the investigation, seizures and charges in the case:

Jan. 28

Danzeisen contacted the resident, Lillian Holen, at her home. Danzeisen said at the time he saw about 46 head of extremely thin cattle, and dead cattle, around Holen’s barn and yard bearing Voss’ brand. Holen told Danzeisen that she has had complaints about Voss’ cattle trespassing on her land since May of 2007.

Jan. 29

Danzeisen contacted another area resident, Bruce Darcy, about cattle that were turned out on property south of his residence. Darcy said that the cattle were put on the property approximately two weeks earlier with one bale of hay and no water, and that the cattle were in bad shape.

Danzeisen called Voss at a phone number provided by Holen. He left a message but never hears back from Voss.

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