Meth and BIA Special Law Enforcement Commissions . Tribal and State Justice Summit Burlingame, California November 13, 2006. American Indians and Crime Report (2004).
Meth and BIA Special Law Enforcement Commissions Tribal and State Justice Summit Burlingame, California November 13, 2006
American Indians and Crime Report (2004) • The rate of violent crime against American Indians is TWICE the national average (101 per 1,000 as compared to 41 per 1,000 annually) • 1 out of 10 American Indians (12 and older) become victims of violent crime annually
DOJ Violent Victimization and Race Report (2001) • Only 46% of violent crimes against American Indians are reported to police
Methamphetamine • Fueling homicides, sex offenses, aggravated assaults, child abuse/neglect, domestic violence, etc. • Many tribal leaders across the US are saying this is the Number One public safety problem on their reservations.
Coeur d’Alene Meth Summit • Sponsored by Attorney General’s Advisory Committee – Native American Issues Subcommittee. • US Attorneys, federal law enforcement, and 30 + tribes attended. • Concurrence: 1) there is a meth epidemic in IC, and 2) interjurisdictional cooperation is key.
What BIA OLES is Doing: • Information Gathering • Training and Education • Improvements to Corrections • Increased Funding • Interjurisdictional Cooperation • Special Law Enforcement Commissions
Meth Survey • 74% of IC law enforcement identified meth as the greatest drug threat • High availability: powder meth – 43%; crystal meth – 46% • Increases in crime – domestic violence – 64%; assault/battery – 64%, burglary – 57%; child neglect/abuse – 48% • 90% need drug investigation training
Training and Education • Mobile Meth Lab – with DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. • Methamphetamine “train the trainer” program (increase meth awareness in tribal communities). • Being done in partnership with DOJ COPS office who is assisting with costs.
Improvements to Corrections • Recruited and development professional corrections management team. • Coordinating repairs/replacement of facilities with BIA OFMC. • Hiring initiative across Indian country.
Improvements to Corrections • Closed 7 old jails, including in 2006: Crow Creek, Hopi, and Uintah & Ouray Ute • 14 new jails opened, including in 2006: Colville, Jicarilla Apache, and Zuni • 8 more new jails on the way • Improved correctional services will help communities to provide viable sentencing options for suspects convicted in tribal courts.,
Increased Funding • FY ’06 – distributed over $5.5 million to IC law enforcement programs to fight meth and other purposes on 25 reservations. • Included hard hit communities such as: Oglala Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and San Carlos Apache. • Included communities suffering from drug smuggling including Tohono O’odham and St. Regis Mohawk.
Increased Funding • FY ’07 – budget request $201,620,000 (4.1% increase over FY ’06 enacted). • FY ’07 - Includes increase $1,786,000 to address growing violent crime and drug problems. • FY ’08 – planning stages.
Operation EAGLE • Enhanced Anti-Drug Goals in Law Enforcement (EAGLE). • National Drug Control Coordinator - serves as liaison to White House ONDCP, DEA, FBI, DHS, etc. and runs program. • Expand and encourage interjurisdictional cooperative efforts. • Coordinate training for tribal law enforcement. • Expand from 8 drug agents to 280+ drug trained law enforcement officers.
Special Law Enforcement Commissions (SLECs) • BIA OLES working with tribal police departments to provide federal Special Law Enforcement Commissions. • Tribal can then enforce federal laws including the federal drug offenses set forth in Title 21 of the US Code.
Special Law Enforcement Commissions – Authority • Indian Law Enforcement Reform Act of 1990 • 25 United States Code sec. 2801 – 2809 • Policy published at 69 Federal Register 6321 (February 20, 2004)
Special Law Enforcement Commissions - Policy • “The Federal Government has an interest in promoting strong tribal governments with the ability to protect the health and welfare of their members. Inherent in this relationship is strong and effective law enforcement in Indian country.”
Special Law Enforcement Commissions - Policy • “Another issue…has been lack of jurisdictional clarity, making state and local officials reluctant to either arrest or prosecute in Indian country. This lack of prosecution in Indian country has compounded the problem.”
Special Law Enforcement Commissions - Benefits • Standardization of appearance, equipment, vehicles, etc. • Authority for tribal police and county sheriffs to enforce federal crimes comitted within Indian country. • Brings federal law enforcement authority to reservations with limited BIA/FBI presence due to Public Law 280.
SLEC Procedure: Step One • Tribal Law Enforcement : Contact BIA District III Special Agent in Charge Selanhongva McDonald at (602) 379-6958. • State/Local Law Enforcement: obtain concurrence from Tribe and then contact District III SAC.
SLEC Procedure: Step Two • The requesting agency must enter into Special Law Enforcement Commission with the BIA. • There is a model SLEC agreement specifically for Public Law 280 jurisdictions.
SLEC Procedure: Step Three • Once the agreement is executed by both parties, then the requesting agency may submit applications for individual officers. • Each individual officer’s qualifications are considered separately.
SLEC Procedure: Step Four • Tribal Law Enforcement – if approved, individual SLECs are issued to the tribal Police Chief for distribution and the local Sheriff’s office is notified. • State/Local Law Enforcement – if approved, individual SLECs are issued to the Sheriff for distribution and tribal officials are notified.
SLEC Qualifications • Must be a graduate of the BIA Indian Police Academy, OR • Must be a graduate of the state police academy AND have taken the 2 ½ day Indian country jurisdiction course. • Note: the Indian country jurisdiction course can be conducted locally.
SLEC Qualifications • Must be full-time law enforcement employee. • Must pass FBI criminal history check. • Must have firearms certification.
What laws can officers with BIA SLECs enforce? • Violations of federal law which occur within Indian country. • Examples: embezzlement and theft from tribal government, theft from casino, bribery of tribal official, failure to report child abuse, cross-boundary domestic violence, and firearms offenses.
What laws can officers with BIA SLECs enforce? • Federal drug crimes committed within Indian country including: • Possession of Controlled Substances • Manufacture of Controlled Substances • Distribution of Controlled Substances
Interjurisdictional Cooperation • Wind River Meth Rings (2005) • Broke up two meth rings • multi-reservation “business plan” • 29 defendants • BIA OJS, DEA, Fremont County Sheriff, etc.
Interjurisdictional Cooperation • Wind River Meth – Part Two (2006) • Broke up regional meth ring • 53 defendants, 20 firearms, $100,000 cash, 20 pounds meth • BIA OJS, DEA, Fremont County Sheriff, etc.
Interjurisdictional Cooperation • Chickasaw Nation Meth Ring • broke up regional meth ring • 102 defendants, 49 weapons, $161,000 cash, 15 pounds of meth - BIA OJS, Chickasaw Nation Lighthorse Police, DEA, ATF, state/local agencies.
The Future • Drug abuse public awareness. • Budget focused on obtaining adequate resources for law enforcement, tribal courts, and corrections. • Tribal drug courts.
Chris ChaneyDeputy Bureau DirectorBureau of Indian Affairs • Office of Justice Services • U.S. Department of the Interior • 1849 “C” Street, N.W., MS-4551 • Washington, DC 20240 • (202) 208-5787 • Fax: (202) 208-6170