18 Aug NORTH DAKOTA OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL SCHEDULD TO SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) WITH THE MANDAN, HIDATSA, ARIKARA (MHA) NATION AND THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS (BIA) TO TARGET AND COMBAT DRUG TRAFFICKING IN TRIBAL LANDS
August 18, 2023
CONTACT: Suzie Weigel, 701.328.2210, firstname.lastname@example.org
BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Office of Attorney General (NDOAG) announced today the scheduled signing of a Memordum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). This partnership will provide operational support in the identification, targeting, disruption, and dismantling of Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) affecting Tribal Nations.
The MOU lays out the scope and objectives to reach an agreement on the partnership between the NDOAG’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), the MHA’s Department of Public Safety, and the BIA. The pillar of this agreement is the designation of BCI special agents granted Special Law Enforcement Commission (SLEC) designation through the BIA and BIA’s Office of Solicitor General. The SLEC designation allows specific BCI agents to possess and enforce BIA jurisdiction over enrolled and non-rolled members as they relate to narcotics investigations and their related criminal offenses. The SLEC designation for BCI will provide the MHA Nation with the full state support of the NDOAG in the continued fight against drug traffickers utilizing tribal lands to establish a foothold for illegal drug sales and human trafficking.
The plague of illegal drugs impacting North Dakota and our Tribal partners cannot be underestimated and agreements such as this MOU ensure law enforcement can apprehend drug traffickers without the impediment of state and tribal borders.
These collaborative efforts of the NDOAG with other ND Tribal Nations have already led to the SLEC designation of BCI special agents in partnership with the Spirit Lake Nation (02/23/22); and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (04/18/23).
ND Attorney General Drew Wrigley stated “Drug trafficking organizations are not deterred by reservation borders, so our law enforcement efforts must be empowered to protect every inch of our shared geography. Our office has led this initiative with the clear objective of enhancing public safety for all North Dakotans.”
“Community safety is our utmost priority. Coming together to protect our communities by combining our tribal law enforcement resources with both state and federal resources is a good thing. This partnership will tremendously enhance our abilities to combat the illegal drug trade that is devastating our nation.” said Mark N. Fox, Chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation.