Editorial: Pine Ridge walk a good step for youth
"Headlines usually only tell half the story. We can read about the crimes that are committed and of the prosecution and sentencing of individuals who responsible. Often, their victims are mentioned only in passing or remain unknown. But the consequences of criminal acts have far-reaching effects that go unnoticed by the public.

The two-year prosecution of the cocaine drug ring on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that eventually put 28 people behind bars, including its ringleader, Geraldine Blue Bird, is a case in point. Twenty-eight people who are dealing cocaine must have had hundreds of victims, most of whom will never be known.

What tragedies befell them and their families after becoming ensnared by easy access to dangerously addictive drugs?

Robin Tapio of Pine Ridge knows what can happen when a family member becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol. Her son, Vergil Pourier, became addicted to cocaine at 13 after trying the drug at Blue Bird's house. Tapio struggled to get her son off drugs and alcohol without success. Vergil died June 2 in a car accident north of Pine Ridge. At the time of the accident, he had cocaine and marijuana in his system.

Tapio says her pleas for help were ignored by tribal police, and there were too few alternatives available to her son to help turn him away from drugs and alcohol."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Pine Ridge walk a good step toward better future for kids (The Rapid City Journal 1/11)

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