White Earth first to team up with U.S. prosecutors

Published On: Mar 15 2013 06:03:17 AM CDT   Updated On: Mar 15 2013 06:03:00 AM CDT
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -

An American Indian tribe in northern Minnesota is the first to team up with federal prosecutors under a law designed to improve public safety on reservations.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole is announcing Friday that the Department of Justice will share jurisdiction with the White Earth Nation when it comes to prosecuting crimes such as murder, rape or felony child abuse.

Starting June 1, federal, state and tribal authorities will examine such cases together to see where prosecution makes the most sense.

The shared jurisdiction is possible under the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010. Though other tribes have requested shared jurisdiction, White Earth's application is the first to be accepted. Cole says that's in part because Minnesota's federal prosecutors are already well-versed in handling cases in Indian Country.