A Menominee Nation water tower. Photo: J. Stephen Conn

Menominee Nation announces arrest of police officer after undercover operation

The Menominee Nation says one of its police officers has been arrested following an undercover operation in Wisconsin.

According to the tribe, the officer is alleged to have engaged in "inappropriate communication" with a juvenile via social media. An arrest took place in the early morning hours on Thursday.

“This type of situation is never easy for a community," Chairman Gary Besaw said in a press release on Thursday. “We commend our tribal police department and partnering agencies for handling this matter in an expedient and professional manner.”

When asked for details, the chairman's office declined to release the officer's name. But the tribe plans to release more information if charges are filed against the officer.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin is expected to pursue the case. As of early Thursday afternoon, a review of online court records did not show any criminal filings connected to the Menominee Reservation.

An inquiry has been placed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, seeking additional details.

The announcement of the arrest caps off a difficult week for the tribe. On Sunday, a parent informed tribal police after finding a suspicious package in a child's Halloween candy bag.

The substance tested positive for methamphetamine, the police department said in a post on Facebook. The tribe quickly rallied together and held a "safe" trick-or-treating event on Tuesday to provide families with another opportunity to enjoy the holiday.

"Waewaenen to our Menominee Tribal leaders, tribal departments, programs, businesses-College of Menominee Nation -Menominee Casino-Menominee Tribal Enterprises-Menominee Tribal Police and our families and community!" a post on Facebook read after the event. Waewaenen is the Menominee word for "Thank you."

The candy bag incident occurred on October 29. That same evening, tribal police received a tip about the officer who was allegedly involved in communications with a juvenile.

Tribal police worked with state and federal authorities to investigate and eventually apprehend the officer, the chairman's office said in the press release.

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Menominee Nation hosts 'safe' trick-or-treating event after disturbing incident (October 31, 2017)