Home News Stories 2012 June Journey Through Indian Country, Part 1 U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales

U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales

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Kenneth J. Gonzales
U.S. Attorney
District of New Mexico

There’s a lot of good things happening in Indian Country. There’s a lot of efforts by our Native American leaders to bring jobs and to improve access to education. So there is a lot of good things, I think, to tout—to discuss—when we’re talking about Indian Country.

But in addition to that, it’s very clear—especially when you’re a prosecutor—the challenges Native American leaders have to improve the lives of the people in their community.

FBI in New Mexico, in the District of New Mexico, and so many other places around the country—South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana—have a very strong presence in some of these communities, and have been doing very difficult work, doing it in a very good way for years and years and years. And so we rely tremendously on their expertise.

And really, so many of our agents have it within their heart—having chosen the field of law enforcement—to try to make a difference to the young lady who’s being victimized, to the young 5-year-old, for example, who’s being sexually abused, to the 80-year-old woman who is being beaten by her 16-year-old grandson or great grandson.

It’s those kinds of issues that we have that need immediate responses from law enforcement. And the FBI is key to that whole picture.


Journey Through Indian Country

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
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


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