Law-enforcement officers and prosecutors say drug dealers are exploiting jurisdictional loopholes to commit crimes on tribal land.
By law, the federal government has jurisdiction on Indian reservations only for major crimes. Meanwhile, courts have ruled that tribal police have no criminal jurisdiction over non-American Indians.
At the Four Corners Indian Country Conference yesterday in Colorado Springs, U.S. Attorney Troy Eid told how he has worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to allow tribal officers to enforce federal laws on reservations in Colorado.
And so-called cross deputizing of officers from local agencies can allow them to respond to calls on reservations. Eid says 85 officers have been cross-deputized since February.