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Major Drug Raid Dismantles Indian Gang

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Major Drug Raid Dismantles Indian Gang

Major Drug Raid Dismantles Indian Gang

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The FBI and several other agencies arrested 29 people for trafficking methamphetamine and marijuana on the Yavapai-Apache Nation. It was the biggest drug sweep on the reservation in nearly two decades.

The Yavapai-Apache Nation is in Northern Arizona. Vice Chairman Robert Jackson Sr. says meth has plagued his community for years. Addressing the issue has been ongoing and overwhelming.

"We have families who are torn apart because the drug consumes the whole family," Jackson said. "We have children that are displaced from their home. And we have elders who have to deal with relatives who are consumed by meth."

The 29 arrests conclude a nine-month investigation. FBI officials say the raid should help dismantle a Native American gang called Brown Pride. McDonald Rominger heads the northern Arizona FBI office.

"This will have the largest community impact that we’ve done on tribal lands in northern Arizona the 16 years I’ve been working here," Rominger said. "I don’t think there’s been a bigger raid per capita."

About 2,000 tribal members live on the reservation. Most of the drugs were believed to have come from Phoenix or Tucson.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to reflect the geographic location of the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Laurel Morales was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2011 to 2020.