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South Dakota's Crow Creek Sioux chairman faces federal bribery charges

The chairman of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe will appear in U.S. District Court in Pierre, S.D., today on a federal bribery charge.

Duane Big Eagle Sr., 60, faces the charge in connection with bribing an agent of Indian tribal government, said Jessica Fehr, an assistant U.S. attorney in Montana.

She declined to reveal further details of the complaint until after Big Eagle is arraigned.

Big Eagle, of Fort Thompson, defeated incumbent Brandon Sazue to become tribal chairman in April. After the election, Sazue made allegations of vote-buying and other election-law violations against Big Eagle, who previously served as tribal chairman for nearly two decades.

Big Eagle was brought to Hughes County Jail Tuesday afternoon by federal authorities, said Bill Dodge, Hughes County Jail administrator.

The Daily Republic in Mitchell, S.D., is owned by Forum Communications Co.