Editorial: Pine Ridge drug dealer in denial

"It’s been said that prisons are full of innocent people — if you ask the inmates.

That appears to be the case in the sad but incredible story of Geraldine Blue Bird. She is a woman who was once considered a role model on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, who once had the ear of a U.S. president, and now a woman who will spend the next 34 years in federal prison.

The sad part is that she once was a benevolent caregiver, who took children in need into her home and fed and housed them, despite not having much herself. But she went from being a do-gooder to a wealthy drug dealer, and was labeled as the ringleader of a gang of more than two dozen people — including her 26-year-old son — who trafficked an estimated $2 million worth of cocaine from Denver to Pine Ridge between 2002 and 2005.

The incredible part of Blue Bird’s story is that despite all the overwhelming evidence and testimony at her trial last fall and her sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court last week, she appears to be in complete denial that she was at fault for providing illegal drugs to reservation residents. She even had children in the home from which she was dealing drugs.

And she accepted government-issued debit cards that were to be used to buy food as payment for drugs, putting the blame on the buyers: “They make that decision. I can’t force anybody ... to do anything.

“I’m being held responsible for a lot of things I wasn’t involved in,” Blue Bird told U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier last Wednesday."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Convicted cocaine dealer should take responsibility (The Rapid City Journal 4/9)

Related Stories:
Pine Ridge drug ring leader sentenced to 34 years (4/5)
Sentencing hearing for Pine Ridge drug dealer (02/21)
Woman sentenced for Pine Ridge drug trafficking (01/12)
More indictments in Pine Ridge drug trafficking ring (12/06)
Mistrial sought in Pine Ridge trafficking case (10/19)
Jury finds five guilty in Pine Ridge trafficking case (10/5)
Pine Ridge drug trafficking case sent to jury (10/4)
Five on trial for trafficking cocaine to Pine Ridge (09/20)
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