The Latest: Authorities: 2 roadblocks near pipeline protest

AP News
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Posted: Oct 23, 2016 8:44 PM

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on the protests in North Dakota over the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

Officials say Dakota Access pipeline protesters created two separate roadblocks in southern North Dakota, one of which has been taken down.

The Morton County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Sunday night that the first roadblock on State Highway 1806 was built about 2 p.m. using barbed wire, cars and later hay bales, tree stumps and logs. Law enforcement authorities spoke with protesters, and it blockade came down before 5 p.m.

The sheriff's office said a second blockade was still up as of 5:30 p.m. Sunday that was built with vehicles, campers and a state Department of Transportation message board.

The office also said there are 100 protesters on private property along the pipeline construction route near an encampment and that there were at least 10 temporary structures on the land.

It comes during a weekend of protests, including one Saturday that Morton County says ended up with 126 people being arrested. One person was arrested for trespassing Sunday.

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4:30 p.m.

Law enforcement authorities in North Dakota say a helicopter they were using to monitor a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline was approached by a drone in a "threatening manner."

The Morton County Sheriff's Office says an officer on board the helicopter Sunday reported to law enforcement on the ground that the pilot and passengers were "in fear of their lives" and that the unmanned aircraft was going after them.

The sheriff's office says law enforcement used less-than-lethal ammunition to fire at and damage the drone. The drone operator then landed the device.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says drones flying near protests and areas where demonstrators have camped out for weeks are not being operated according to federal regulations.

Over 80 protesters were arrested Saturday during a large demonstration at a pipeline construction site.