Authorities to build up presence before oil North Dakota pipeline ruling

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota authorities are sending officers from across the state to the site of a protest in anticipation of a federal judge’s ruling on a request by the Standing Rock Sioux to block construction of a four-state oil pipeline.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg is expected to rule Friday on the tribe’s request to temporarily stop construction on the Dakota Access pipeline.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday in a statement that it’s “preparing and planning for all scenarios that may occur in response to the federal court ruling.” The statement didn’t say how many officers were being added.

One  county issued a warrant for the arrest of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who is accused of spray-painting construction equipment during a protest.

Stein was charged Wednesday in Morton County with misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass and criminal mischief.

A spokeswoman for Stein said Tuesday that activists invited her to leave a message at the protest site, and Stein sprayed “I approve this message” in red paint on the blade of a bulldozer.

No law enforcement personnel were present Saturday when violence broke out between private security guards and protesters. Authorities say the crowd dispersed when officers arrived and no one was arrested.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is trying to stop construction of a section of the pipeline that tribal leaders say would violate sacred and culturally sensitive grounds and possibly pollute water.