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Yakama Nation Authorities Will Be Notified of Warrants

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The federal government has agreed to notify Yakama tribal police before executing search and arrest warrants against tribal members on tribal land.

A federal raid on a tobacco company owned and operated by a Yakama tribal member in White Swan sparked outrage in 2011, when federal authorities took computers, records and other documents from the business.

Tribal leaders were not notified before the raid, and federal authorities blocked tribal police from entering the property during the raid.

In response, the tribe sued the U.S. Department of Justice in March 2011 for allowing the FBI to execute the raid without notifying tribal authorities.

Tribal Council Chairman Harry Smiskin says Monday’s agreement is the first such agreement between the Justice Department and a tribe.

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