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Chukchansi Indian dispute brings law enforcement

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dozens of law enforcement officers from several agencies gathered in Madera County Tuesday night, trying to keep the peace between disputing factions of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians.

One year ago, violence brought out when members of one faction stormed tribal offices after a disputed election. Tension is high once again following another election and Madera County Sheriff John Anderson is trying to make sure violence doesn't erupt. Tuesday evening, the department set up a roadblock on Road 41, allowing only local residents access to the tribal lands. "I'm hearing these guys have guns, and those have guns, and so far, those are unsubstantiated rumors but we're not going to let the thing that happened, what happened last year," said Anderson.

Sheriff Anderson is trying to set up a meeting between the disputing factions and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That's something he tried to do last year as well, but then the BIA declined to intervene.

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