Nearly 30 arrested in tribal meth and violent crime sweep
A multi-agency investigation into drug trafficking and related violent crime on and near the Yavapai-Apache Indian Nation has resulted in 29 arrests, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office press release.
The FBI worked with the Yavapai County Drug Task Force and Yavapai-Apache Nation Tribal Police to make the busts, which dealt with both methamphetamines and marijuana.
The agencies arrested 22 on federal charges; five face tribal charges; and two face state charges, the release said, and three fugitives are still outstanding.
"The FBI is committed to enforcing federal laws in Indian county," said Special Agent in Charge Douglas G. Price. "The goal of this investigative operation is a positive impact on the community by reducing violent crime and the availability of illegal drugs."
Yavapai-Apache Nation Vice-Chairman Robert Jackson, Sr., said, "Methamphetamine has plague our community for years. Addressing this issue as an independent law enforcement agency has been ongoing and overwhelming."
Jackson said the tribal police had been working with the FBI and U.S. Attorney since late 2012 on these busts, "resulting in one of the largest single actions" against meth dealers.
The drug offenses, trafficking meth and marijuana, come with penalties of up to 20 years in prison and $1,000,000 in fines. Assault and related charges carry maximum sentences of 10 years to life in prison, the release noted.
Further charges and arrests are anticipated, the release said.