US Attorney gets tough on reservation crime

Phoenix, Arizona (AP) September 2010

The U.S. Attorney for Arizona has launched a crackdown on crimes committed on Indian reservations.

Dennis Burke says he began looking at reservation crimes after learning about problems with rape cases on the Navajo Reservation.

Burke says the Justice Department is cross-deputizing tribal prosecutors as federal lawyers to increase the number of cases pursued.

Indian police agencies are also being trained to conduct federal felony investigations. In the past year, nearly 350 tribal officers in Arizona completed a certification course.

Burke says Navajo and Tohono O’odham police already are conducting felony investigations and are no longer relying on federal agents.