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Senecas banish six for suspected drug dealing

Six people suspected of dealing drugs on Seneca Nation land have been banished from all Seneca territory, a spokesman for the Seneca Nation said Monday.

The Seneca Nation Council voted to take the rare step of banishing the individuals following an afternoon traffic stop on Cattaraugus Territory on Dec. 20 that resulted in the drug-related arrests of four men and women.

Seneca Nation marshals found drugs and drug paraphernalia during a vehicle check. They detained Jermaine Fann, Kevin L. Hunt, Mikayla A. Miller and Eileen Oliver until New York State Police arrived. The Council voted to ban the suspects from Seneca territory. Melquen A. Thompson and Ellis Meehan also were banished in the same vote, as a result of previous traffic stops.

“We will protect the Seneca people and the quality of life on our territories through every measure possible and not allow individuals such as these to threaten and poison Seneca Territory,” said Seneca Nation President Todd Gates. “I want to congratulate the Council for taking this bold step. The drug epidemic that is devastating communities across the region must be stopped.”

None of the banished individuals is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation, although two of them have Seneca lineage.

Banishments do not happen regularly.

The banished men and women are not allowed on any Seneca territory, including its casinos. If found on Seneca property, they will be arrested for trespassing, according to spokesman Philip J. Pantano.

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