CALIFORNIA: In the foggy early morning hours of Wednesday, July 8, special agents from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Drug Enforcement Administration and state and local law enforcement descended on the Pit River Tribe’s XL Ranch and the Alturas Indian Rancheria in northeastern California, seizing 12,000 marijuana plants and 100 pounds of processed pot from the two large-scale growing facilities.
The Alturas Indian Rancheria and the XL Ranch are located on opposite sides of the town of Alturas, California. The tribes that operate them, Alturas and Pit River, are separate federally recognized tribes, but are descended from the same 11 bands of Achumawi- and Atsugewi-speaking peoples that called the region home long before the arrival of white settlers.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has not yet filed any charges against the tribes or individuals related to the raid. The office declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
Pit River tribal leaders have declared the raid a violation of their sovereign rights. “We are very disappointed with the decision of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as the lead federal agency, to descend on sovereign land with an army of nearly fifty law enforcement officers,” Pit River Tribal Chairman Mickey Gemmill Jr. said in a press release. “That the BIA would take such a disrespectful approach to an Indian tribe on its own land is a serious assault to the Tribe’s right to self-governance.”