Siouxland Tri-State Gathering Brings Together Three U.S. Attorneys and Area Law Enforcement
SIOUX CITY, IA – Today the United States Attorneys for the Northern District of Iowa and the Districts of Nebraska and South Dakota met in Sioux City with 60 federal, state and local law enforcement partners with the goal of strengthening relationships among the offices and to develop a greater awareness of the dynamics and challenges facing the tri-state region now and into the future. This is a first of a kind executive meeting joining the three offices with fellow law enforcement partners.
The meeting was held at the 185th Air Refueling Wing located at the Sioux Gateway Airport. The Wing Commander, Colonel Larry Christensen, welcomed the attendees and provided them with a detailed briefing of the unit’s worldwide mission.
A recent successful prosecution involving multiple jurisdictions presented a good example of the importance of having pre-existing, effective collaborative relationships among federal, state and local law enforcement partners. Assistant U.S. Attorney Forde Fairchild led a panel discussion touching on the jurisdictional issues during the prosecution of Jamal Dean and his brother. The brothers conspired to rob two local drug dealers both living in Iowa. They had traveled from Nebraska to Sioux City and back to rob the drug dealers at gun point.
Evidence at Jamal Dean’s sentencing hearing revealed that while an Iowa arrest warrant was pending, he was a passenger in a car that was stopped by a Sioux City police officer. Dean exited the vehicle and began firing a number of rounds at the officer, one of which struck him in the head. After this shooting, Dean fled but was captured in Texas traveling south just 70 miles from the Mexican border. Evidence at sentencing also revealed Dean had also assaulted a woman and shot two other men, before shooting the officer. Dean was sentenced to life in prison.
Joining in the panel discussion were representatives from the Sioux City Police Department, Woodbury County Attorney and Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshal Service. The panel emphasized the need to have pre-existing, effective working relationships across federal, state and local law enforcement before a serious incident occurs, and stressed the need for information sharing among all partners, at all levels.
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa Kevin W. Techau reinforced his mantra as it related to the Dean prosecution noting, “We work best—federal, state and local law enforcement—when we work together.”
United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota Randolph J. Seiler stated following the meeting, “Successful prosecutions are the result of working shoulder to shoulder with our law enforcement partners. Cooperation and collaboration between federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement are critical elements in our efforts to deliver justice.”
United States Attorney for the District of Nebraska Deborah R. Gilg agreed stressing the importance of interagency cooperation.
The daylong meeting included a round table discussion on drug trafficking, guns and violent crimes, cybercrime/national security, and human trafficking. Representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations were joined during the roundtable by state and local task force members. Criminal trending was discussed and jurisdictional issues were clarified. The day ended with a presentation on global narcoterrorism and the threat to the United States by the Executive Director of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) located in Kansas City.
At the end of the day, the three United States Attorneys thanked the participants for joining the meeting noting that they believed the goal of strengthening inter-agency relationships and developing a greater awareness of the challenges facing the tri-state region were achieved. Future meeting of the partners will be planned.
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