- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota resident who was the former business associate of a Washington state man killed in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme pleaded not guilty to federal weapons charges Monday.

James Henrikson is charged in federal court with seven counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition. U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Miller set Henrikson’s trial for April 1.

Authorities said Henrikson, 34, of Watford City was in possession of four pistols, two shotguns and a rifle, as well as an unspecified amount of ammunition.

The federal public defender’s office in the Dakotas is still waiting on some evidence in the case, a spokesman said.

“We will review all those materials with Mr. Henrikson and discuss his options and our own investigation,” spokesman Neil Fulton said in a statement. “The subject of any criminal indictment must always be presumed innocent and the details of a charging document are rarely the entirety of the story.”

Federal prosecutors declined comment Monday.

Court documents show Henrikson had business dealings in the North Dakota oil patch with Doug Carlile, who was shot and killed by an intruder Dec. 15 at his Spokane, Wash., home. Timothy Suckow, 50, of Spokane, is charged with Carlile’s slaying.

Agents searched Henrikson’s Watford City residence on Jan. 13 and discovered a black gun safe inside the bathroom of the master bedroom, according to the court documents. After receiving the combination to the lock from the safe manufacturer, they found several firearms and a large amount of ammunition, the documents show.

Henrikson has five previous felony convictions in the state of Oregon, including ones for burglary, assault, theft and eluding authorities.

He was an investor in Kingdom Dynamics, a company that had mineral rights to 640 acres of land on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, authorities said. Carlile owned 51 percent of Kingdom Dynamics.

Henrikson told Spokane police that Carlile owed him nearly $1.9 million and that he was angry with Carlile, but he denied being involved in Carlile’s death, according to court documents.

Documents also show that Henrikson is under investigation for allegedly defrauding a company owned by Tex Hall, chairman of Three Affiliated Tribes in northwestern North Dakota. Hall said earlier in a statement that he’s cooperating with investigators, but didn’t address specifics regarding his company, Maheshu Energy.

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