Family arrested after drone surveillance may avoid prison time

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — A northeastern North Dakota farmer involved in a summer-long standoff with law enforcement in 2011 has struck a plea deal with prosecutors that could keep him and his family from serving prison time. The county sheriff involved in the case wants it to go trial.

Rodney Brossart, 56, of rural Lakota, is accused of resisting arrest, damaging a law enforcement vehicle and threatening deputies in the standoff that began as an investigation into missing cattle, intensified when family members ignored repeated orders to appear in court, and ended with arrests in which authorities used an unmanned drone to conduct surveillance.

Three of Brossart’s sons are accused of pointing rifles at deputies and a daughter is accused of assaulting a deputy. Brossart’s wife, Susan, was accused of lying to authorities.