Red Lake Works with Federal Leaders to Tackle Fentanyl Trafficking on Reservation
Federal action is being taken to address local issues.
With the reported increase in drug trafficking in the area, Red Lake tribal and federal leaders joined Monday at the Oshkiimaajitahdah (New Beginnings) Events Center in Redby to discuss what can be done to combat this problem.
Words shared by United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew Luger emphasized the importance of addressing not only the trafficking, but those who traffic fentanyl.
“[Fentanyl dealers] are not welcome [in Red Lake]…their drugs are not welcome here,” stated Luger. “If [dealers] try to sell their fentanyl here, they are going to be met with swift and severe consequences.”
Although the planning seems to be in the early stages, there are already plans to work with local law enforcement on the Red Lake Reservation to combat the fentanyl trafficking. Along with setting up ways to improve prosecutions in terms of dealing fentanyl and other drugs, leading drug prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office will work on a regular basis with Red Lake.
Education is another important aspect toward stopping the flow of fentanyl onto the reservation. Focusing resources and training on prosecuting drug dealers on overdose deaths will be two main components that leaders will work toward. Officials also hope to publicize these cases and make other dealers aware of the implications they face if they look to traffic drugs not only on the reservation, but in the state.
All of this work is to complete one main goal: To stop poisoning the people of Red Lake.
However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office realizes the drugs are not manufactured on the reservation. Rather, they can come from over the southern border or from the Twin Cities metro area and make their way up to vulnerable populations, which include Native Americans.
To fit with the building’s name of “New Beginnings,” ideas were brought forth to combat current issues and provide solutions for the future. Luger calls for consistency and persistence in the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s presence in Red Lake.
A community event was also held in order to include the Red Lake members in this discussion.