Kendall Locklear stands on Tuscarora Nation property in North Carolina. He was among those arrested by state authorities on July 23, 2018, as part of an illegal gambling and marijuana sting. Photo: Kendall Locklear

Authorities in North Carolina shut down Tuscarora Nation casinos

Authorities in North Carolina announced the arrests of more than 26 people accused of operating an illegal gambling and marijuana ring in the name of the Tuscarora Nation.

The "sovereign citizen group," as described by the State Bureau of Investigation, operated three casinos, its own law enforcement force and an indoor/outdoor marijuana operation. Vehicles, currency, drugs, firearms and more than 200 gaming machines were seized during a series of raids on Monday.

“Citizens living near the casinos complained of the illegal activity taking place and notified law enforcement,” Terrance Merriweather, the head of N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement, said in a press release. “This group openly expressed beliefs that neither the laws of North Carolina nor the United States applied to them, putting law-abiding citizens in danger. We hope today’s arrests provide a safer community for them.”

A photo shared by Kendall Locklear on Facebook shows the aftermath of a raid on a disputed Tuscarora Nation casino in North Carolina.

The Fayetteville Observer identified Kendall Locklear, 57, as the leader of the Tuscarora Nation. He was among those arrested.

"Roberson [Robeson] county sheriffs department just robbed my casino but they can’t find my grandson," Locklear wrote on Facebook on Monday afternoon, referring to a situation in which he said his grandson was taken from the care of his family. He posted a short video from the scene of one of the raids.

Timothy Bryan Jacobs, 49, also was arrested, the paper noted. He was one of two Indian men who were indicted for a hostage situation at The Robesonian newspaper in 1988. He was later acquitted, The New York Times reported.

The historic Tuscarora Nation was based in North Carolina before many citizens emigrated to present-day New York and Canada in the 1700s and 1800s. They are recognized in the U.S. as the Tuscarora NationSix Nations Some descendants are also a part of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation, based in Oklahoma.

Many Tuscarora descendants remained in North Carolina, where they lack federal recognition. They also lack state recognition, according to the North Carolina Department of Administration.

Read More on the Story:
Robeson County casinos raided; Tuscarora leader among more than 25 arrested (The Fayetteville Observer July 23, 2018)
Illegal casinos, unauthorized police force lead to arrest of dozens of Tuscarora Nation members (WMBF July 23, 2018)
Report: Law enforcement personnel raid property on Modest Road (The Robesonian July 23, 2018)
Dozens of tribal members accused of money laundering, other charges in connection with casinos (WYFF July 23, 2018)
26 members of Native American tribe arrested in Robeson County for illegal casinos (WWAY July 23, 2018)

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