Series: Drug dealers using Fort Apache Reservation as a haven
"The number one issue with substance abuse on Native-American reservation lands has been and continues to be alcohol, but there seems there may be a shift in the illegal drug of choice among young people on The Mountain, including "anglo" communities and The White Mountain Apache Reservation.

According to local law enforcement it looks like there may not only be a shift from methamphetamine to heroin in local communities including Whiteriver, but the people selling the drugs appear to be using the Native-American reservation lands as a haven from law enforcement.

Having said that, Phoenix region Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Jim Molesa does not agree.

He said DEA data gathered nationally does not indicate a switch from meth to heroin on reservation lands, or that drug dealers are using them as a base of operations.

The White Mountain Apache Reservation encompasses 2,628 square miles with a population of 12,429 people according to the 2000 Census.

The majority of those living on the Reservation reside in Whiteriver, Hon Dah, East Fork, Seven Mile, Cedar Creek, Concho and McNary.

Depending on whom one talks to, it could be drug cartels are simply being opportunistic and seeking out the communities, or wilderness, of least resistance."

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Dealers using reservation for drug distribution (The White Mountain Independent 10/12)