trent shores

A federal prosecutor turned private practice Native American law attorney says the despite the current stalemate between Gov. Kevin Stitt and tribes, there is a way forward — and there needs to be, because the McGirt decision is likely here to stay.

Choctaw citizen and former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Trent Shores said there is a different justice on the court since the 5–4 decision in July 2020. Conservative Amy Coney Barrett replaced the late liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Trent Shores said this month that alongside issues stemming from the McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling and the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, addressing child sex abuse within the Indian Health Service should be a top priority of the new presidential administration.

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Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Trent Shores has a new gig lined up.

After 18 years with the Department of Justice, Shores will go into private practice. He’s joining law firm GableGotwals as a shareholder March 29. In a news release, the firm noted Shores' experience in Indian law.

GableGotwals already has a former U.S. attorney and two former assistant U.S. attorneys on staff.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. attorneys in Oklahoma City and Tulsa both announced Tuesday that they plan to resign at the end of the month.

U.S. Attorneys Tim Downing in the Western District and Trent Shores in the Northern District both said statements that they had submitted letters of resignation to President Joe Biden. Both were appointed by former President Donald Trump.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tribe leaders of the Cherokee and Chickasaw Nations want Congress to allow them to make agreements with the state of Oklahoma in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding criminal jurisdictions.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

Oklahoma's three top federal prosecutors said Thursday they stand ready to prosecute any individuals who may have traveled from their jurisdictions to Washington, D.C., with intent to participate in the siege on the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead. 

2 Tulsa Area Men Accused of Virus Relief Fraud

Dec 21, 2020

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Two men have been charged after being accused by authorities of fraudulently applying for small business loans intended for coronavirus relief in Oklahoma, according to federal prosecutors.

Authorities allege Rafael Maturino, 40, of Broken Arrow, and Adam Winston James, 44, of Tulsa, worked together on a scheme to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

A Tulsa Police officer has been indicted on federal gun charges.

U.S. Attorney Trent Shores announced Thursday 26-year-old Latoya Dythe faces charges for allegedly making a false statement to a firearms dealer. Shores said Dythe took cash from her boyfriend, 27-year-old Devon Jones, and bought a gun for him from Bass Pro Shops in April. She marked on a required form she was buying it for herself, a practice known as a straw purchase.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A former Walmart manager has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for fraudulently seeking more than $8 million in small business loans intended for coronavirus relief in Oklahoma.

Tulsa authorities said Benjamin Hayford, 32, sought forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Oklahoma tribes and U.S. attorneys are the first in the nation to work together in a new federal program to handle missing and murdered indigenous persons cases.

The Muscogee (Creek) and Cherokee nations will take the lead in developing guidelines for local, state and federal agencies to work with them on such cases. The plans will address law enforcement, victim services, community outreach and communication.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Family Violence Prevention Program Director Shawn Partridge said the program will build on work the tribe has been doing for itself.

Tulsa Police

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A Calera, Oklahoma, man has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a firearm that authorities say was used to kill a Tulsa police officer in June, federal prosecutors announced Monday.

U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said Jakob Gerald Garland, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. Garland admitted to trading the semiautomatic pistol to David Anthony Ware, a convicted felon, in exchange for heroin, Shores said.

AG Barr Promises More Federal Aid, Manpower to Help Oklahoma

Sep 30, 2020
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — U.S. Attorney Bill Barr promised more manpower and federal aid to Oklahoma on Wednesday to help tribal governments and federal prosecutors deal with an increase in criminal cases stemming from a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

During a visit to the Cherokee Nation headquarters, Barr said the U.S. Department of Justice plans to fund two federal prosecutor positions in the northern and eastern U.S. districts of Oklahoma to handle the increased caseloads.

US Attorney General to Visit Cherokee Nation Headquarters

Sep 29, 2020
Shane T. McCoy / U.S. Marshals

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — U.S. Attorney General William Barr is planning a visit to Oklahoma on Wednesday with leaders of the Cherokee Nation and federal prosecutors from Tulsa and Muskogee.

Barr is expected to lead a roundtable discussion at the tribe’s headquarters in Tahlequah with Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., the tribe’s Attorney General Sara Hill, and U.S. attorneys from the northern and eastern districts of Oklahoma.

Among the topics Barr is expected to discuss is funding for staff increases, according to a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

Facebook / Tulsa Police Department

Federal prosecutors have indicted a man for allegedly providing the gun used in the killing of Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson and the wounding of Ofc. Aurash Zarkeshan in June.

"Jakob Garland is alleged to have been the person who gave the gun to David Ware. He is alleged to have exchanged that gun for heroin," said Trent Shores, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The U.S. Department of Justice is sending money to Oklahoma to combat domestic violence.

"Oklahoma is receiving more than $8 million in domestic violence grants that are going to go to assist victims of domestic violence, to support recovery and to help us end this cycle of violence," said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Trent Shores.

Tribes, cities and nonprofits offering services to survivors are in line for funding.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

At a Tuesday press conference at the U.S. Attorney's Office in downtown Tulsa, federal, state, municipal and tribal officials said they are all effectively working together to ensure public safety is not negatively impacted as jurisdictional questions are resolved following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and United States Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Trent Shores both cited the recent Supreme Court ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma in announcing action in two separate cases, some of the first legal maneuvers navigating what Shores' office calls their "new responsibilities."