Kristi Noem Reiterates Claim that Drug Cartels Operate on South Dakota’s Tribal Land

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem reiterated her claims that Mexican drug cartels are operating on tribal land outside of her jurisdiction in South Dakota.

“They have set up on my tribal reservations, and they are proliferating their drug trafficking, their human trafficking, they are raping our children and our women, right in South Dakota,” the Republican state executive said on May 18 at the California GOP’s 2024 Spring meeting, held at a Hyatt Regency not far from the San Francisco International Airport.

“They’re doing it protected by the federal government, because the federal government refuses to bring law and order to those communities and keep people safe,” added Ms. Noem, who has sometimes been discussed as a vice presidential prospect for former President Donald J. Trump.

Ms. Noem’s comments come several weeks after a House subcommittee hearing in which Native American leaders discussed the drug cartel activity in their communities.

“There is no doubt that the Mexican drug cartels are playing a major role in this crisis. They have found their way to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and embedded themselves in our communities and our families,” Bryce Kirk of the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana testified.

It’s an extension of a long-running trend.

“Mexican drug cartels have been purposefully targeting rural Native American Reservations, both for the sale of meth and as distribution hubs,” a 2006 Department of Justice report reads.

In April of this year, a man from El Salvador, a man from Guatemala, and a woman from Greeley, Colorado, were sentenced to prison in connection with the armed kidnapping of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, located in South Dakota.

The three were traveling through “for the purpose of trafficking and distributing controlled substances, including methamphetamine, fentanyl, and heroin,” according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

“Cartel members who live on our lands recruit our tribal citizens to traffic drugs, and they get into relationships with our women and abuse them,” Lloyd Guy, the attorney general of South Dakota’s Rosebud Indian Reservation, said as part of a 2019 Tribal Consultation Report with Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women.

Yet, tribal leaders in the state, including of Pine Ridge and the Rosebud Indian Reservation, have taken issue with Ms. Noem’s comments. Eight out of nine tribal governments have endorsed her banishment from their lands.

In recent weeks, the speculation over Ms. Noem’s prospects as a running mate for President Trump has been marred by outcry in the legacy media over passages in her memoir describing her decision to kill a working dog on her ranch.

NBC News reported that President Trump commented on that development at a private fundraiser in Manhattan.

“I’m really curious about the dog,” he said.

NTD Photo
Former President Donald Trump listens as North Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during a rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024. (Kamil Krzacynski/AFP via Getty Images)

Ms. Noem only indirectly addressed the dog story during her speech.

“I have a book that has come out and maybe you’ve heard a little bit about it,” she said. “I guarantee you if you listened to the media, you haven’t heard the truth, so I would recommend you read it.”

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.