Navajo Nation Council And City Of Gallup Address Fraudulent Reports Of Navajo People Being Targeted By Fraudulent Rehab And Treatment Centers

of 25th Navajo National Council member, Gallup Mayor Louie Bonaguidi, and Gallup Police Chief Erin Toadrena-Pablo during a press conference on May 17, 2023 in the Gallup City Council Chambers. Provided/NNC

NNC News:

Gallup — Member of the 25th Term Navajo Council, which includes Speaker Kristaline Curley and congressional representatives Seth Damon, Amber Kanasba Clottey, Dr. Andy Nez, and Vince James, said Wednesday, Gallup Mayor Louis Bonaguidi and Gallup Police Chief Erin Toadrena. = Attended a press conference with Pablo and provided the following information: There are reports of Native Americans being targeted and transported from Gallup, New Mexico, to fraudulent rehabilitation and treatment centers in Phoenix, Arizona, as part of the health care benefit system.

“twenty fiveth The Navajo Council takes a strong stance against perpetrators who continue to target Navajo in cities and towns and transport them to fraudulent sobriety homes and treatment centers in the Phoenix area,” Carr​ Chairman Lee said. “Family members and loved ones of the targeted people are often unaware of what has happened and many are reported missing. One of the key elements to prevention is informing and educating Navajo people about these perpetrators, maintaining constant contact with law enforcement, and ensuring that these issues are on the front lines. We thank Mayor Bonaguidi and Gallup Police Chief for their support.”

Delegate Damon said the Gallup City perpetrators also target members of other nearby tribes, including members of the Zuni tribe. He rallied leadership at Wednesday’s press conference to create a safer environment for tribal members who frequent Gallup for goods and services.

Gallup Police Chief Toadrena Pablo reported that the Gallup Police Department has been investigating 33 cases involving “solemn households” since 2022, 15 of which remain unsolved. In 2023, the ministry is also investigating a total of 74 missing persons cases involving juveniles, adults and other jurisdictions, and to date, 14 of these cases remain unsolved. The department continues to work closely with local law enforcement agencies, including the Navajo Police Department, the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office, the New Mexico State Police, and federal authorities, to address reports of people being taken to the Phoenix area with substantial promise. said it was investigating. Abuse treatment and other support.

As a member of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Invisible Laws Commission, Rep. Crotty has received much heartbreak from victims of human trafficking and other crimes who are so traumatized they can no longer trust law enforcement and other agencies. He said he heard a story. Delegate Crotty, who has spearheaded the advocacy of missing persons and their families, will restore that credibility and establish treatment centers in and near the Navajo Nation so that Navajos can receive treatment and assistance nearby. said there was a great need. home.

In 2022, Delegate Crotty sponsored legislation establishing the Nabiquiyati Disappeared and Murdered Dineh Relatives Task Force (MMDR) to help combat the disappearance and murder of Dineh relatives inside and outside the Navajo. The Navajo National Council has also contributed through the American Relief Program Act to the development of detox and residential treatment/rehabilitation centers in the communities of Shiprock, Chinle, Kayenta, and Tuba City, and interim housing facilities at Fort Defiance and Kayenta. Approved $19 million.

Dr. Nez, the representative, is committed to providing law enforcement and government agencies with information in the Navajo language to provide information to Navajos who do not speak or understand English, and that law enforcement agencies work together. He called for further development and strengthening of cross-commissioning agreements that could combine resources across countries. He cited a recent video circulating on social media showing an elderly Navajo man being pressured to get into a car being transported to one of the fraud centers. The video shows the elderly man finally leaving safely after another Navajo-speaking person urged him not to get in the car.

This week, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs announced action against more than 100 unlicensed and fraudulent sobriety and rehab facilities in the Phoenix metropolitan area. He also announced that the Arizona Health Care Cost Control System (AHCCCS) has stopped payments to fraudulent providers and approved a full third-party audit of claims dating back to 2019.

The Navajo Administration also announced “Operation Rainbow Bridge” to help deal with the problem, establishing an Emergency Operations Center in Phoenix consisting of field and technical teams to help displaced Navajo members. It said it would help transport them to legitimate service providers or return them to their Navajo homelands. .

Today, May 19, at 11:30 a.m., the Navajo Nation will hold a press conference to share more information about Operation Rainbow Bridge and its partnerships with state, federal, tribal and other entities for public viewing. will be zoom here.

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