December 7, 2022
Navajo Nation Police Department warns tribal citizens about recruiters
By Crystal Ashike
The Navajo Nation Police Department has received numerous missing persons reports that they have traced to addiction treatment centers in Arizona. Now they are warning tribal communities about recruiters.
It all started on Monday morning early in Nov. when Navajo Nation Tuba City Police Sgt. Roland Dash noticed the arrest log had one individual. Usually, the numbers are higher because of the weekend.
Sgt. Dash started asking around and heard about a white van coming into Tuba City, Ariz., where individuals claiming to be recruiters were offering people food, shelter, and recovery treatment
The recruiters have been reported in various areas like the outdoor markets or picking up people walking on the side of the road in a Facebook statement published by the Navajo Nation Police Department.
Soon families started to report their loved ones missing, and Sgt. Dash began looking into the group homes after a family member of a missing person told him their brother went to a recovery treatment center in Phoenix, Ariz.
Sgt. Dash spoke with the individual over the phone. He explained he willingly went with the recruiters and reconnected with his sister.
"A lot of these individuals that are missing are shown up at a rehab center, down in Phoenix, " said Sgt. Dash over a phone call with Tribal Radio.
In a separate incident, Carol Willeto posted to Facebook warn people about a couple from Blue Sapphire Group Home showing up at Window Rock, Ariz., outdoor market and recruiting people.
Tribal Radio contacted the Blue Sapphire Group Home about their business and why they were in Window Rock, Ariz., but it was unclear in a phone call with a woman named Justin.
She apologized and said she was not involved because she had no Navajo clients and hung up.
Sgt. Dash is working with the FBI, criminal investigators, and other agencies to ensure the safety of Navajo communities and is asking anyone with any information about these incidents to contact Sgt. Dash, at 928-637-3028, the FBI, at 1-800-225-5324, or online at tips.fbi.gov.
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