WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke applauded the efforts of a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Office of Justice Services (OJS) K-9 police officer who recently took more than 17 pounds of deadly drugs off the streets.
The BIA officer was monitoring vehicle traffic on Interstate 25 on the San Felipe Pueblo Indian Reservation when he conducted a traffic stop resulting in the arrest of an individual, and the seizure of approximately 15.9 pounds of methamphetamine and 1.25 pounds of heroin.
A field test of the substances was conducted and returned positive results for the presence of methamphetamine from one of the 15 packages and heroin from one of the packages. One package did test positive for heroin and had an approximate weight of 1.25 pounds (567.67 grams). A Criminal Complaint was filed Aug. 30 in the District of New Mexico and the suspect was held for further court proceedings.
“Our Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement officers are the front line in America’s ongoing fight against opioids,” Secretary Zinke said. “I applaud their fine efforts today and every day. Opioids have had a disproportionately negative effect on American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and as Secretary of the Interior, I understand how imperative our efforts are on this urgent issue. The DOI Opioid Task Force is doing a great job. I thank President Trump for his great leadership in helping us find creative ways to solve this crisis, and I look forward to a day when opioids no longer claim the lives of so many of our citizens.”
Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney said, “Thank you, Secretary Zinke and the hard working BIA-OJS officers on the ground, for helping to keep Indian Country safe. The President’s Initiative is directly impacting the families within our tribal communities.”
The Department of the Interior is committed to making available resources required to fight drug abuse, and earlier this year Secretary Zinke established the Department of the Interior’s drug fighting Joint Task Force to help achieve President Donald Trump’s mission to end the opioid epidemic and make America safe. So far, the task force has made 155 arrests and confiscated approximately 1,155 pounds of illegal drugs. Secretary Zinke has continually worked with tribes to carry out President Trump’s directive to stop the drug and opioid crisis, conducting dozens of tribal visits to see the affected communities, while listening and learning about how to fight the crisis on the ground.