DNA from cigarette leads to Dakota Access arrest 3 years on

Dakota Access pipeline protesters clash with law enforcement at Blackwater Bridge. (photo courtesy of Morton County Sheriff's Office)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota authorities relying on DNA collected from a cigarette butt have charged a man with engaging in a riot for his involvement in a Dakota Access pipeline protest three years ago.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that Morton County prosecutors also charged 23-year-old Lawrence Malcolm Jr. with felony conspiracy to commit criminal mischief. An arrest warrant was issued Thursday.

The charges relate to a Sept. 6, 2016, protest on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. An affidavit says more than 100 demonstrators, many with their faces covered, halted construction and vandalized equipment.

North Dakota crime lab officials notified investigators last month that DNA from a cigarette butt found at the scene was a match for Malcolm, of Sisseton, South Dakota, whose DNA profile was on file from an earlier arrest.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com