Despite the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s call for protesters to close down camps, not to mention the looming completion of the pipeline itself, a left wing veterans group called Veterans Stand has been raising money to “deploy” activists to North Dakota again.
Now, in two separate instances on two different days, members of what is apparently a separate group called VeteransRespond were busted for drugs.
This per a release from Morton County:
Mandan, N.D. – On Feb. 10, a Morton County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit responded to a vehicle that was stopped after traveling beyond the road closure sign on Highway 1806 near Fort Rice. The four occupants included Matthew Crane, co-founder of the VeteransRespond group which is known to be at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps. One of the occupants turned over a smoking device identified as a pipe used to ingest marijuana. At that point, all occupants and their luggage were removed from the vehicle and searched by the K-9. A bag of marijuana was located with Crane’s name on it. Crane acknowledged that possession of marijuana is illegal in North Dakota. He was cited for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
On Feb. 9, Mobridge, South Dakota Police Department arrested two individuals also associated with VeteransRespond after performing a traffic stop for a Michigan-plated vehicle. During the stop, the officer recognized signs of criminal activity and consent to search was denied. A K-9 unit was deployed and while doing an exterior search, the K-9 positively alerted and indicated drug odor. A search of the vehicle revealed the driver and passenger were in possession of Hash oil, which is considered a controlled substance in South Dakota. The car and protester gear were also confiscated and placed into evidence by the Mobridge Police Department. The VeteransRespond members, Graeme Cabrera and Travis Biolette, were taken into custody and taken to the Walworth County Jail in Selby, SD.
According to this Bismarck Tribune report, members of VeteransStand have been helping to clean up the protest camps, though they have also said that they will be “non-violently demonstrating against the corps coming in and clearing out” the camps according to Anthony Diggs, a spokesman for the group.
It’s not clear now non-violent these activists intend to be. This photo was included with the Morton County release. It’s from the February 9 stop, and shows body armor and a gas mask along with the mini propane bottles law enforcement has said were used by protesters to make improvised explosives during past altercations:
The VeteransRespond group apparently raised over $182,000 for their latest operation, per the Tribune. Veterans Stand, meanwhile, has raised over a quarter of a million dollars as of the time of publication.