Law enforcement gearing up to protect tribal members when settlement checks arrive

Jan 15, 2014

As eligible Native Americans in Fremont County await checks owed them as part of a settlement with the federal government, law enforcement is preparing to institute extra security measures to protect tribal members.

The settlement for $157 million is for the mismanagement of tribal oil and gas royalties by the federal government. About 15-percent of that will go to the tribal governments, $10 million will go towards environmental reclamation on the Wind River Reservation, and the rest will be distributed among tribal members.  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.