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Associated Press, Published May 31 2013

US attorney says sequester may hurt Indian safety

BISMARCK — U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon says federal prosecutors have put a dent into crime on American Indian reservations in the last few years, but worries that budget mandates will slow the progress.

A Department of Justice report issued Thursday shows that the number Indian Country cases charged in federal court has increased by 54 percent between fiscal years 2009 and 2012, from 1,091 to 1,677 cases.

Purdon says the ability of prosecutors to keep building on that work is "being thwarted" by the sequester cuts.

The top federal prosecutor for North Dakota says the Justice Department managed to temporarily avoided furloughs for 2013, but he fears that the budget situation will only get worse.

Purdon adds that prosecutors remain "committed to improving public safety in Indian Country."