Leallen Blackhair, 45, of Fort Duchesne, allegedly waived his right to a trial and admitted to the facts of his criminal behavior, which “interfered with or affected” interstate commerce, according to a release.
Blackhair’s position, Compliance Coordinator of the Energy and Minerals Department of the Ute Indian Tribe, reportedly included issuing fines to oil and gas businesses working on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation that were found in violation of their access permits and business licenses by his employer.
According to the release, Blackhair used his position to “induce and attempt to induce” multiple companies to pay him personally by offering to reduce a fine that would otherwise be assessed against them.
Blackhair extorted 66 payments totaling $110,000, “paid directly to and for the benefit” of himself between August 2010 and May 2013, according to the Dept. of Justice.