Former BIA law enforcement chief tapped for post

An Indian man with 30 years of law enforcement experience is being tapped as the next U.S. Marshal for Nevada.

Ted Quasula, a member of the Hualapai Tribe of Arizona, would be the first Native American to hold the prestigious post. He is being recommended by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nevada), who called him a dedicated public servant.

"Ted's life-long commitment to law enforcement, his professionalism and his incredible experience make him an extremely qualified candidate," Ensign said in a statement this week.

As the state's Republican senator, Ensign forwards his picks on federal appointments to the White House. President Bush is likely to accept the recommendation and nominate Quasula for the currently vacant post.

Once confirmed by the Senate, Quasula would handle a variety of duties in a state home to nearly two dozen tribes and where 90 percent of the land base is owned by the federal government. The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for judicial security, fugitive investigations, witness security, federal prisoner services and the handling of seized assets.

Quasula is currently serving as the chief of police for the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe of Nevada. It's one of many law enforcement jobs he has held since first becoming a police officer in Flagstaff, Arizona, more than 30 years ago.

Quasula is most known for being the director of law enforcement at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He rose to the top post in October 1990 after holding a variety of positions within the agency, including a field criminal investigator.

Quasula's tenure at the BIA was an important time for Indian Country law enforcement. Responding to extremely high rates of violent crime, particularly abuse of women, the agency sought and obtained more funding for more jails, police officers and other services. During the Clinton administration, the BIA also began collaborating with the Department of Justice.

One of Quasula's biggest concerns was the lack of adequate police services for large, remote reservations. BIA and tribal cops are often required to patrol vast land bases alone, a situation that has led to the deaths of several officers, including at least one in Nevada.

In 2000, Quasula retired from the BIA but has remained active in tribal issues. He was a president of the National Native American Law Enforcement Association and started a consulting group. He came out of retirement in January 2001 to work for the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe, whose lands are located within Las Vegas city limits.

Nevada's U.S. Marshal post has been vacant since July, when Richard Winget retired after a little over a year on the job.

Relevant Links:
U.S. Marshals Service -
Las Vegas Paiute Tribe -
National Native American Law Enforcement Association -