DOJ assigning extra staff in Minneapolis to better handle Midwest cases involving missing and murdered tribe members

(Fargo, ND) -- The Department of Justice is adding extra personnel to their offices, including in Minneapolis, as part of an effort to better handle cases involving missing or murdered indigenous people living on tribal lands. 

"U.S. attorneys just haven't had those resources before so it's exciting because it's going to elevate the work that we and other U.S. attorneys can do with tribes on this really pressing problem," said Minneapolis-based U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger.

Luger told WDAY Radio Now that a total of 10 new attorneys and coordinators will be added to five regional offices. 

In announcing the initiative, Attorney General Merrick Garland said tribal communities are being "devastated" by cases involving murder and missing persons. 

He describes the trend as an "epidemic".