Ragley Man, Elton Man Sentenced for Roles in Armed Robbery at Coushatta Tribal Reservation
LAKE CHARLES, LA—United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Ragley man and an Elton man were sentenced Thursday for participating in a home invasion on the Coushatta Tribal Reservation.
John Harold Materne, 22, of Ragley, La., was sentenced to 37 months in prison for one count of Indian Country crime acts robbery, and 84 months in prison for one count of carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The prison terms will run consecutively. He was also ordered to serve eight years of supervised release. Trevor James Simon, 21, of Elton, La., was sentenced to 24 months in prison and three years of supervised release for one count of Indian Country crime acts robbery. United States District Judge Patricia Minaldi presided over the sentencing hearings.
According to evidence presented at the guilty pleas, the defendants along with Floyd H. Martine, Chanten Keith L. Gautreaux and another suspect traveled to the home of an acquaintance on December 3, 2013 to steal illegal drugs. Simon drove the vehicle, while Materne, who was carrying a shotgun, and Martine entered the home. As they were robbing the inhabitants, Gauthreaux entered the trailer and helped take pills and marijuana. The group was arrested while fleeing the scene. Materne and two of the victims are Native American Indians and members of the Coushatta Tribe.
Martine was sentenced on September 18, 2014 to 84 months in prison and eight years of supervised release. Gauthreaux was sentenced on September 11, 2014 to 24 months in prison and two years of supervised release.
Jurisdiction in Indian Country is based upon the unique sovereign relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes. Congress has extended the territorial jurisdiction of the United States to major crimes committed against Native Americans that take place in Indian Country, which includes all property that the government holds in trust or use by officially recognized Native American tribes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutes all major crimes and misdemeanor cases arising in Indian Country that are within the jurisdiction of this office. The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutes cases arising in Indian Country involving felonies where either the defendant or the victim is an Indian or both the defendant and the victim are Indian.
The FBI, ATF, and the Coushatta Tribal Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph T. Mickel prosecuted the case.