March 20, 2019
Contact: Emily Murray
Phone Number: (402) 964-7950
DEA testifies at Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing
BISMARCK, N.D. – DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Richard Salter, Jr., testified at the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Oversight Hearing at the United Tribal Technical College gymnasium in Bismarck, N.D., March 20. One of three federal representatives called to testify at the four-hour hearing, Salter discussed DEA’s efforts, challenges and successes in collaborating with tribal law enforcement to prosecute drug trafficking organizations poisoning our tribal communities in State of North Dakota.
“It was a privilege to visit with Chairman Hoeven, Senator Cramer and Representative Armstrong, as well as representatives of the five tribes of North Dakota, and our local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement partners,” Special Agent in Charge Salter said. “There was a lot of good discussion between the various parties involved regarding the dangers that drugs pose on the reservations, and the efforts that can be made to move forward in a positive direction.”
Salter, along with Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Jill Sanborn and Bureau of Indian Affairs Deputy Director Charles Addington, sat on the second of three panels called to provide testimony on joint law enforcement efforts in building safe tribal communities and stopping dangerous drugs from entering Indian country. In his five minute testimony, Salter addressed the success of the agency’s task force-centric organizational structure. Allowing agents to work in close partnership with other law enforcement elements on a daily basis has proven beneficial in areas such as North Dakota where manpower resources are limited.
“Drug abuse, addiction and the violence associated with this illicit trade is a complex social problem and identifying and prosecuting those responsible is most successful when law enforcement at all levels combine our collective resources,” Salter said.
Salter discussed the drugs most commonly seen in North Dakota, including methamphetamine and fentanyl-laced heroin, both originating outside of the state and most often traced back to Mexican drug cartels. In addition, pharmaceutical and counterfeit pain killers and heroin comprise the majority of illegal opioid abuse in North Dakota.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem led the panel discussion while representatives from the Three Affiliated, Sisseton Wahpeton, Turtle Mountain, Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Tribes closed out the third panel.
The intent of the committee hearing was to provide information which can be given to the entire Indian Affairs committee for consideration of pending and potential bills on Capitol Hill.
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