18 Fugitives Arrested on Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in North Dakota

March 2, 2016 Updated: March 2, 2016

A joint operation in North Dakota by local and federal law enforcement ended in the arrests of 18 fugitives.

Operation Northern Lights targeted fugitives who were located within the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation.

The fugitives arrested were wanted for a number of offenses, including drug charges, money laundering, and aggravated assault.

For instance, Jair de Jesus Carillo Guardado, 29, a Mexican national with resident alien status was arrested on five felony warrants from Ward County—two counts of possession of controlled substance, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, and one count of carrying a concealed weapon, reported KFYR.

Tribal lands often are viewed as a safe haven by people wanted on state or local warrants, according to the Associated Press.

State authorities can arrest only non-enrolled members on a reservation, and not all tribal governments have extradition laws in place to transfer an enrolled member to a state or local jurisdiction that holds an active warrant.

The relatively small Turtle Mountain reservation measures 6 miles by 12 miles, according to the reservation’s tourism website.