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Wed January 15, 2014
Law enforcement gearing up to protect tribal members when settlement checks arrive
As eligible Native Americans in Fremont County await checks owed them as part of the Cobell settlement, law enforcement is preparing to institute extra security measures to protect tribal members.
The Cobell settlement for $3.4 billion is for the mismanagement of tribal royalties and land by the federal government. About $1.5 billion of that will be distributed, including 6,000 to 8,000 beneficiaries on the Wind River Reservation. Lander Police Chief, Jim Carey, says some tribal members don’t have bank accounts and could end up toting around a lot of cash, which has the potential to attract criminals to the community.
“Violent crime is a concern for us, obviously the robbery aspect of it. It’s truly a motivation for us to provide some extra protection,” says Carey.
Tribal members without bank accounts are also being encouraged to open one.