Photo Courtesy of WTOK
(Information from the US Attorney’s Office, Southern District)
New Charges in Superseding Indictment Include Burglary, Abusive Sexual Contact, Witness Tampering
Detention Hearing Scheduled for Tuesday, November 19, 2019
A former member of the Tribal Council for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has been charged with additional criminal violations in a Superseding Indictment and arrested for burglary, sexual abusive contact, witness tampering, theft/embezzlement, and wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Mike Hurst and Michelle A. Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi.
An original indictment returned by a federal grand jury on February 6, 2019, had charged the former elected lawmaker Randy Lamar Anderson, 46, of Conehatta, Miss., with defrauding the Tribal government (One count of theft and two counts of wire fraud).
According to the indictment, between March 2015 and December 2017, Anderson is alleged to have forged hotel bills and receipts and submitted those documents to the Tribal government in claims for reimbursement for official business travel. Since the original indictment issued, Anderson’s term on the Tribal Council expired, and Anderson did not run for reelection to the Council.
On February 13, 2019, Anderson appeared for arraignment on the original indictment before United States Magistrate Judge Linda R. Anderson in Jackson, Mississippi. The Court released Anderson on bond, subject to conditions including that he refrain from further violations of state or federal law while awaiting his trial.
On November 6, 2019, additional charges were returned by a Federal Grand Jury in a Superseding Indictment, alleging that Anderson, while subject to the conditions of his release on bond, entered the home of a female Choctaw Indian on Reservation lands during the night of August 25, 2019, and committed an abusive sexual contact of the woman, who was unable to appraise the nature of the conduct and physically incapable of declining participation in, or communicating unwillingness to engage in, that sexual act. The Superseding Indictment also alleges that in the days following the incident in August and September, Anderson engaged in witness tampering by attempting to intimidate and threaten the victim into not reporting his offense and violations of his bond conditions, as well as attempting to corruptly persuade and mislead the Choctaw Police Department into pressing criminal charges against her, to dissuade her from filing charges.
Anderson appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Linda R. Anderson for arraignment on the Superseding Indictment today in Jackson. He faces maximum penalties of 5 years in prison for theft from an Indian Tribal Organization; 20 years for each count of Wire Fraud; a mandatory minimum of three years for Burglary, with a maximum of 25 years; a maximum of 15 years for Abusive Sexual Contact; and up to 30 years for each count of Witness Tampering. Each count also can merit a fine of up to $250,000. Anderson was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals to await a detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
U.S. Attorney Hurst commended the work of the Special Agents with the FBI’s Jackson Division who investigated the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Theodore Cooperstein.
The public is reminded that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.