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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan Visits Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian Tribes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado
Reaffirms commitment to work for justice for tribal members

DURANGO – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado reaffirmed its commitment to the sovereign Indian Nations present in the southwestern part of Colorado this week.  United States Attorney Cole Finegan met with leaders and law enforcement of both the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute during a three-day visit to the region. 

“Visiting our tribal partners in-person was particularly important to me,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan.  “Our relationships with the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribes are part of an important trust between our governments.  I fully intend to honor our responsibilities and apply the rule of law to all equally.  I send my thanks to Southern Ute Chairman Melvin Baker and Ute Mountain Ute Chairman Manuel Heart, and their colleagues and staff, for the opportunity to discuss the issues important to your respective tribes.”

U.S. Attorney Finegan and senior staff met with the Tribal Council members for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Ignacio, as well as Tribal Council members for the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe in Towaoc.   The three-day visit started on January 11, 2022, and concluded January 13, 2022.  Topics of conversation included prosecuting domestic violence cases, combating narcotics on the reservations, and efforts to reduce recidivism.  

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado prosecutes certain offenses that occur on the reservations, primarily through its office in Durango, Colorado.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jeff Graves, Josh Player, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Franceware are primarily responsible for litigating these matters. 

Each fall, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado participates in the Four Corners Conference, which focuses on addressing issues facing the Indian Nations that have lands within the states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.  The conference brings together hundreds of individuals interested and committed to serving the cause of justice in the region.


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Updated January 13, 2022

Indian Country Law and Justice