The Lac du Flambeau Tribal Police Department, in conjunction with numerous law enforcement agencies, carried out sweeping raids Wednesday, June 26, on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation.
Code named “Operation Pandora,” tribal police led a team of approximately 40 officers and agents in early morning raids at local residences, serving seven search warrants and making more than 20 arrests resulting from an ongoing investigation into synthetic and prescription drug trafficking on the reservation.
In a multi-agency effort, 11 law enforcement agencies from seven counties were involved, including the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department, Oneida County Sheriff’s Department, Price County Sheriff’s Department, GLIFWC (Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission), Red Cliff Tribal Police, Ho-Chunk Tribal Police, Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Police, Oneida Tribal Police, Bad River Tribal Police and NADGI (Native American Drug and Gang Initiative).
“Today’s events were the first wave of a continuing effort to combat the use and distribution of synthetic marijuana and prescription drugs,” said Bob Brandenburg, chief of police for the Lac du Flambeau Police Department. “Our department received cooperative support from several Indian reservations throughout the course of this investigation. Our goal is to greatly impact the availability of drugs on our streets,” said Tom Maulson, chairman of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.
“When our tribe declared a state of emergency in April, we made it clear to our community that we would take on those who use and sell drugs on our reservation. We made it public knowledge that we will deal with this epidemic. Hopefully, the actions of our law enforcement community send a strong message that drug abuse is not acceptable on our lands. We have resources and support for our people who need help with addictions,” Maulson continued.
Operation Pandora is an ongoing, multi-agency effort and will continue its efforts in Lac du Flambeau.