Special Agent Helps Protect His Native American Community
Special Agent Jeff Youngblood, who works in the FBI's resident agency in Durant, Oklahoma, helped convict a corrupt public official of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma last year. He felt more satisfaction than usual bringing a criminal to justice, because Youngblood is Native American and a member of the Choctaw tribe.
My name is Jeff Youngblood. I'm a special agent for the FBI. I'm assigned to the Oklahoma City Division, Durant Resident Agency. I am also an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
With this opportunity, when it came open, not only could I work as an FBI agent and do things as far as other roles, a law enforcement officer, but it also gave me a little fulfillment in knowing that I'm also helping out the Choctaw Nation, a tribe that I belong to.
One of the Choctaw employees who oversaw the construction, the new construction, remodeling for many of their projects for the Choctaw Nation, he had an expectation of receiving things that he wasn't entitled to, and some of these businesses, once they realized it, capitalized on it and continued to providing him gifts and bribes in cash and other forms of assets, cars, guns, things of those natures, to get him in—to get this individual, this Choctaw employee in their back pocket so when it came time for contracts, they could kind of set their price, set what they wanted to do and know it would get approved because they had won his favor through these bribes.
it was a unique situation in that not only do I get to work and investigate as an FBI agent, but it also gave me the opportunity to not only just help normal people but to help the tribe.
That’s when it really started to hit me. I'm a victim here as well as the other people because I'm a member of the tribe. This was our money.
Being an FBI agent assigned here to the Nation in this territory, I was able to take an active role in trying to correct something.
It was very satisfying, very satisfying to be able to sit on the witness stand and not only tell them, you know, that I was an FBI agent and here’s what we did in putting them through the case agent but to look at the people that were in the gallery that were victims in this case that attended and wanted answers, but to be able to stand there on the witness stand and tell them, you know, I'm one of you, I'm a member, I'm a victim, too, and I'm standing here with you and here’s what we've done and, you know, we're getting justice for how we were wronged.
I've lived here all my life and for them to know that, you know, I've got roots. My parents, we go back to Southeastern Oklahoma. I'm not a transplant. This isn't a short-time assignment and I'm looking to go somewhere else. They know that I chose to come here. I wasn't assigned to it and then for the tribe to know that I am a member, that I'm not just going to do things halfway, because I do have an interest. I have a vested interest because it’s my tribe. I'm a member of it so the effort is going to be there. I certainly have an interest and they're aware of that. And I think that plays an important role. They know that I do care. It isn't just part of my duties.
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