Pipeline protester won’t get more details on FBI informant
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Denver woman accused of shooting at law officers during protests in North Dakota against the Dakota Access oil pipeline will not receive more information about an FBI informant she alleges seduced her and owned the gun.
Red Fawn Fallis is to stand trial in federal court in Fargo beginning Jan. 29 on accusations that she fired a handgun three times at officers during her October 2016 arrest. No one was injured.
She has pleaded not guilty to civil disorder and weapons charges, including illegal possession of a gun by a convicted felon. She would face at least 10 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Fallis last month asked U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland to compel prosecutors to hand over more evidence, including more details about the FBI informant. She maintained the man infiltrated the protesters’ camp and initiated a “duplicitous” romantic relationship with her, and that she had a right to information about “the role he played in the creation and support of the civil disorder alleged by the government, as well as his role in the events” surrounding her arrest.
The government maintained it turned over all information about the informant to the defense, and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler said in court documents that “defendants’ reference to the FBI informant as some sort of complex issue is misplaced.”
Hovland in a ruling dated Wednesday said Fallis’ “displeasure” with the information she received and her “speculation” that more material exists were not sufficient arguments.
Fallis’ arrest was among 761 that authorities made between August 2016 and February 2017, when at times thousands of pipeline opponents gathered in southern North Dakota to protest the $3.8 billion project to move North Dakota oil to a shipping point in Illinois.
Pipeline opponents, including four Native American tribes, fear a leak could cause catastrophic environmental harm. The Texas-based developer says its pipeline is safe.
Hovland this week ruled on numerous defense and government requests leading up to Fallis’ trial, including granting her request that details about her past criminal history not be allowed. She has a 2003 conviction in Colorado for being an accessory to a felony crime.
The judge also will not allow trial witnesses to use the term “civil disorder,” which Fallis maintained might not be a factual description of the protest scene, though attorneys will be able to use the term in arguments to the jury.
Hovland restricted use of the word “riot” to law officers.
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