Following a state of emergency declared in April about the growing use and distribution of illegal drugs on the reservation, the Lac du Flambeau Police Department began serving banishment notices from the Tribal Government to 55 non-tribal members known to be involved in illegal activities.
Tribal spokesperson Brandon Thoms says in declaring the state of emergency, law enforcement began a crackdown in June called "Operation Pandora" where a number of arrests were made....
"....the tribe determined there was a need to take action to further protect the community. In taking those actions, one of the steps was to ask people that have either been charged in court or subject to investigation related to this illegal activity to leave the reservation..."
The action only affected non-tribal residents. The tribal police began serving notices of the banishment last Wednesday.
Thoms says the action was a tough choice for the tribal council...
"it was a difficult action to take, there were a lot of mixed emotions. It wasn't done lightly. I think this just solidifies their position. They made it well known when they declared a state of emergency in April that they were going to take on people involved in illegal activities..."
Thoms says an initial list of persons facing banishment will be updated as soon as possible.