Oglala president seeking federal help in dealing with meth


RAPID CITY (AP) – The president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe is asking for federal help in dealing with methamphetamine use on the reservation that he says has contributed to homicides.

In a proclamation declaring a state of emergency, Julian Bear Runner says families on the Pine Ridge Reservation are living in a constant state of crisis and trauma due to drug use.

Bear Runner is requesting immediate assistance from the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Drug Task Force to help the tribe with meth prevention and intervention efforts.

Bear Runner wrote in his declaration that the reservation has had several homicides in the past few weeks that were directly related to meth use.

FBI spokesman Kevin Smith tells the Rapid City Journal he can't comment on Bear Runner's statement about the homicides being linked to meth since they are under investigation.

"We can say, however, that substance abuse, which includes an increasing amount of methamphetamine, is a significant factor in most of the violent criminal investigations our agents conduct on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation," Smith said.

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