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Possession still a crime on the reservation though decriminalized around the state

On May 03, 2022, at about 5:30 AM, Warm Springs Tribal Police Department (WSTPD) Officers were dispatched to the Indian Head Casino on a report of drug activity. Officers contacted three individuals in a 2009 Mercedes C350. During their investigation, Officers encountered Joshua Dryden (DOB 09/16/1985), who was subsequently discovered to have Oregon arrest warrants related to identity theft, property theft, and unlawful entry into a motor vehicle.

Dryden was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, and had to be transported to St. Charles hospital related to possible usage of fentanyl. Dryden remains in custody of the WSTPD officers until he is discharged, and then will be released to state authorities on his outstanding warrants. Dryden has been charged civilly under Tribal law for the unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, and false ID; and issued a Federal Central Violations Bureau criminal citation for simple possession of a controlled substance.

A second subject involved in this incident, Michael Butrus (DOB 01/01/1983), who was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance and charged civilly under Tribal law for unlawful possession of a controlled substance, and unlawful possession of drug praphernalia. Butrus was also issued a Federal Central Violations Bureau ciminal citation for simple possession of a controlled substance. The Mercedes was subsequently seized as evidence and is subject to forfeiture proceedings.

If found guilty of the Tribal offenses, Dryden faces fines of up to $12,000 and Butrus fines of up to $10,000.

The WSTPD wants to notify the public that even though there are new laws effecting the State of Oregon regarding the possession of controlled substances, on lands that are under the jurisdiction of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs the current tribal and federal drug statutes remain in effect.

The WSTPD will continue to vigorously enforce these laws, which in turn could subject violators to federal criminal prosecution, and/or civil process within the power of the tribe that could lead to the loss of property, such as vehicles, used in commission of these offenses. The agency hopes the public take these facts into consideration if they intend to be in possession of any amount of controlled substances while coming onto, or transiting through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.

Even though the Warm Springs community and government embraces prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation as the ultimate means of bringing about a drug safe environment, it also strongly believes in the rule of law as part of its governmental doctrine.

As such, the WSTPD continues to work closely with all facets of the drug abuse and mental health agencies operated by this tribe, but will not tolerate drug usage, possession, or trafficking within its jurisdiction no matter the amount.

If you would like further information about this matter, please feel free to contact Lt. Josh Capehart at 541-553-1171, or Chief of Police Bill Elliott.


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