Saginaw Chippewa Tribe seeks information about heroin death

Chief Steve Pego displays the birch bark document declaring a war on substance abuse. Photo from Saginaw Chippewa Tribe

A member of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan died after overdosing on heroin, just days after local authorities made a huge bust of the drug.

John Sanders was 37 years old when he died "unexpectedly" on February 19, according to his obituary. A person of interest in being held on unrelated charges and the tribe is seeking information about the incident in hopes of bringing people to justice.

"We will do all we can to keep our community and surrounding area free of drugs!” Chief Steve Pego said in a press release.

Sanders died just two days after authorities in Mt. Pleasant made the largest heroin bust in their history. It's not clear at this point whether the incidents are related.

The tribe banished two women from the reservation after the bust. Kristy Posthumus, 33, a Native woman from the U.S., is being charged in tribal court and could face charges in federal court.

Audrey Shipman, 31, is also Native but she is from Canada so she is not considered "Indian" under tribal or federal law. She is being charged in Isabella County court.

Two men were in the car with the women when it was pulled over, The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun reported. One appears to be a tribal member while the other is the husband of Posthumus.

The two men do not appear to be facing charges at this point.

Get the Story:
Suspect jailed; tips sought in heroin overdose death (The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun 3/3)

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