FBI in Indian Country

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.

Video Transcript

Lenny Johns, special agent: Indian Country in New Mexico is very unique in that it is very diverse. We have 22 Native American pueblos or reservations in the state of New Mexico. And a large portion of the land mass in our state is Indian Country with a unique jurisdictional relationship for the FBI.

Carol K.O. Lee, special agent in charge, Albuquerque FBI: The work that’s being done out there, it’s truly front-line. It’s truly, though, also relying on your own resources, your own wits, to get the job done, because you don’t have a lot of backup.

Louis St. Germaine, criminal investigator, Navajo Nation: The FBI is quite well skilled in doing investigations. So we combine both our skill-sets and that expedites cases quite well.

John Fortunato, special agent: We almost invariably just see the bad side. We’re only encountering people that have committed the crime or are living, um, aren’t exactly living the best type of life.

Carol K.O. Lee: These folks are our ambassadors out there just like, almost, our overseas mission. But here’s a community that they get into. They know that they’re going to have to be alone sometimes in doing that. But they are some of the most exceptional investigators, but also community representatives, that we have in the Bureau.

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