- Associated Press - Saturday, February 18, 2017

PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) - FBI data shows homicides on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation nearly doubled in 2016 from the previous year.

Police officers are also worried after seeing that five of the 17 homicides last year involved firearms, while there were no firearm-related killings the year before, the Rapid City Journal (https://bit.ly/2l8uMJj reported.

FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Robert Perry said the spike in killings is linked to an increased use of illegal drugs, specifically methamphetamine. Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris also pointed to meth as a reason for the recent rise of violent crimes in his city.

Perry, who supervises South Dakota and North Dakota FBI offices, said the drugs on Pine come from outside places such as Denver.

“When you’re in that drug trade, when there’s money involved, you feel the need to protect your product, to protect yourself, and that’s why I believe there’s more guns involved,” he said.

Perry said there has not been a significant homicide spike in the eight other reservations in South Dakota, or those in North Dakota.

“They all still continue to have homicides, and there may be little fluctuations, but not as pronounced as what we’ve seen in Pine Ridge,” he said. He explained that another factor could be that Pine Ridge is closer to urban areas that tend to be sources of meth, such as Rapid City.

___

Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide