Money collected at tribal store was for cancer patient
LAFAYETTE — A man who lives near the Chitimacha Tribal Reservation in Charenton admitted to a federal magistrate judge this week that he stole a donation jar containing about $40 in cash that had been set up to help a cancer patient who is a member of the tribe, according to federal court documents and prosecutors.
Kendrick T. Edmond, 21, pleaded guilty to a violation of the “Indian Country Crimes Act.” He faces up to one year in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine, according to U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley.
Edmond told U.S. District Court Magistrate Patrick Hanna he was guilty of stealing the money that had been donated to help “E.H.,” according to court documents.
The documents identify the cancer patient only by initials.
Edmond was charged in a bill of information May 30 for the theft that occurred in March. He pleaded guilty Monday. No sentencing date has been set yet.
“Jurisdiction in Indian Country is based upon the unique sovereign relationship between the federal government and Indian Tribes,” Finley said, explaining why federal prosecutors took the case to court.
Since 1985, the Chitimacha Tribe has operated Cypress Bayou Casino, located in Charenton, which sits north of Franklin, according to the tribe’s website. Cypress Bayou Casino is one of three Indian tribe casinos in Louisiana.
In an April interview with Chitimacha Tribal police officers, Edmond said he walked into the Chitimacha Trading Post at almost 7 p.m. on March 31 and stole the jar that had approximately $40, court papers state.
Edmond told the officers that he spent the money.