Home News Stories 2012 June Journey Through Indian Country, Part 1 Louis St. Germaine

Louis St. Germaine

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Louis St. Germaine
Senior Criminal Investigator
The Navajo Nation

We see a lot of assaults. Homicides are quite frequent too. And sexual abuse, practically every day some new case shows up.

In cases of homicide we work hand-in-hand with the FBI. We try to respect one another’s functions.

And even when we’re doing interrogations in this particular office here you’ll see an agent sitting here, I’ll be sitting here, and you know we’ll be doing an interrogation. And the languages would just blend back and forth depending on who it is. They’ll be asking questions in English and I might follow up in my native language. Whatever works. And if you work with people long enough you establish a dynamic that works for you.

With Navajo Nation investigators, we’re here pretty much for a long time. So we’re quite familiar with the area, the crime, and the people, essentially. And the FBI is quite well skilled in doing investigations. So we combine both our skill-sets and that expedites cases quite well.

I’ve been in this business about, almost 30 years. You might say I have an interest here because I live here and I have relatives that live here. And we have to do the job no matter how short-staffed we are. We have to keep going at it.


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