U.S. Attorney of Montana Violent Crimes in Indian Country

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During remarks at the Trilateral Task Force on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls on Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco directed the U.S. Attorney to prioritize crimes violent in Indian country.

KGVO News reached out to Montana U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich, who said he was inspired by Monaco’s challenge since he and his predecessors have already become deeply involved in the matter.

“We made it a priority in my time,” Laslovich said. “I know previous US attorneys have made this a priority due to the large reservations presence here in the state and we really want to help them in any way we can. I am truly encouraged by the leadership of the Department of Justice at the highest levels who are “all together” to support our efforts, not just here in the District of Montana, but in these Districts across the country.

Laslovich answered a question about how state and federal agencies can obtain the right to be heard by residents of Indian reservations in the state.

“I told them and I’ll tell you it’s going to take a collaborative approach,” he said. “It’s going to take trust and that trust has to be earned. It’s not something I get simply because I have the title of US Attorney, but rather it is thanks to the work. And, of course, it’s not just the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but our federal law enforcement partners as well as the Tribal Police who investigate these horrific crimes and are resolved in our efforts and turn every stone .

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen recently told KGVO that methamphetamine and fentanyl were pouring into state reservations. Laslovich said residents across the state must take action to help law enforcement stop the flow of drugs.

“What we do is work collaboratively with our federal partners and our tribal partners,” he said. “There’s a lot of undercover work going on, Peter, where we’re able to reach someone, whether it’s a state, local, or tribal partner, and sometimes, in doing so, ‘learn their network. And if we can stop the network, or get the people most involved in the network, which we’ve been able to do so far in some cases, then we can stop the flow.

Laslovich said Montana residents in non-reservation communities can help stop the flow of drugs by keeping their eyes and ears open and notifying law enforcement who may be involved in transporting dangerous drugs to communities. state tribal communities.

“If they know someone who lives in Missoula, for example, or in Great Falls, Kalispell; these large communities that we have in the state that can be linked to somebody who was dealing in drugs and drug paraphernalia, not just within those communities but also on reservations, so they have to express themselves,” he said. “They need to let law enforcement know this is happening. Far too often, we are only made aware of work because of tips.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office told KGVO News that to date, the Missing Indigenous Persons Database lists 45 people, 24 of whom have been missing for less than a year and 21 for more than a year.

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