Home News Stories 2012 June Journey Through Indian Country, Part 1 Vernon J. Roanhorse

Vernon J. Roanhorse

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Vernon J. Roanhorse
Senior Prosecutor
Tohajiilee/Alamo District
The Navajo Nation

I would rather, personally, prosecute federally because of the timelines. I mean, it’s gotten to the point where a lot of these criminals don’t even, you know, a year’s nothing and then they’re going to get out of jail. And they keep committing these crimes, especially a lot of domestic violence crimes.

And I’m glad they changed the law this year where the feds are able to take some of those cases and prosecute them.

You know, if you keep them there incarcerated longer, you know, it’s, it shows them the crime is a bad crime and that they need to be in jail.

Some of these people have … are just chronic criminals. They just do this every day.

07.01.12

Journey Through Indian Country
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About This Series
Nationwide, the FBI is responsible for investigating the most serious crimes within Indian Country and has investigative responsibilities on about 200 reservations. FBI.gov recently visited New Mexico for a firsthand look at how the Bureau and our partners fight crime on tribal lands.

- Part 1: Fighting Crime on Tribal Lands 
- Part 2: Making an Impact on the Reservation
- Part 3: Murder on the Zuni Reservation 
- Part 4: Teamwork Makes a Difficult Job Easier
- Part 5: A Zero Tolerance Approach
- Part 6: Invaluable Experience on the Reservation

 

The FBI in Indian CountryBy law, the FBI is responsible for investigating the most serious crimes within Indian Country. Nationwide, there are 565 federally recognized Indian tribes. The FBI has investigative responsibilities on about 200 reservations. More than 100 agents in 19 of the Bureau’s 56 field offices work Indian Country matters full time, and we’ve represented federal law enforcement on tribal lands since the 1920s.
View large map

 

New Mexico highway (play video)
“The work that’s being done out there, it’s truly front-line. It’s also relying on your own resources, your own wits, to get the job done, because you don’t have a lot of backup.” 
— Carol K.O. Lee, Special Agent in Charge, Albuquerque FBI

In Their Own Words
FBI officials and our law enforcement partners discuss the unique challenges of working and living in New Mexico’s Indian Country.
Lee videoGonzales videoHarrigan video
Special Agent in Charge, Albuquerque Division
  U.S. Attorney, District of New Mexico   Special Agent, Farmington Resident Agency
Fortunato video St. Germaine video McCaskill video
Special Agent, Gallup Resident Agency
  Criminal
Investigator, The Navajo Nation
  Special Agent, Albuquerque Division
Johns video Brusuelas video Roanhorse video
Special Agent, Santa Fe Resident Agency
  Assistant Prosecutor, Mescalero Apache Tribe   Senior Prosecutor, The Navajo Nation

 

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Indian Country Crimes page

Indian Country Crimes
The FBI investigates the most serious offenses: murder, child sexual and physical abuse, violent assaults, drug trafficking, gaming violations, and public corruption matters.
Learn More