MHA Nation Chairman Mark Fox says the Tribe has been fighting the opioid battle for a long time. He says since the turn of the 21st century, really.
On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley sat down with KX News to discuss charges his office brought against 26 people last Thursday in an opioid pipeline from Detroit that targets reservations in the state.
MHA Nation is one of three nations primarily hit by the drug ring that, Wrigley says, has sold tens of thousands of pills.
Chairman Fox says he’s pleased with the most recent development, adding, tribal cops and the Tribe’s drug enforcement agency teamed up in the takedown alongside the feds.
He says, back in the 1970s and 1980s, drug crime was made up of isolated incidences but with the development of oil and gas, came more drug and sex trafficking to tribal lands.
“Why is there such a high demand? That relates to social-economic poverty. You know, why are we a target? Why is there a market? Well, there’s more disposable income given to economic development, but historic social poverty is making us a marketplace and we’ve got to do something about that,” the Chairman explained.
Fox says these charges will act as some deterrent to drug dealers on the reservation, but he says it won’t be long before their shoes are filled by another group.