Former Mohawk chief Tarbell indicted on Federal drug charges

North Country newspapers today — their on-line editions at least — were filled with reports of former Akewsasne Mohawk chief Phillip Tarbell’s arrest in the Adirondacks on alleged drug-smuggling charges.

This from the Associated Press, as published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

Federal officials say Philip Tarbell of Hogansburg was in a minivan stopped on Nov. 12 by Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint near Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks. Federal officials say agents found about 95 pounds of marijuana in two hockey bags.

The 68-year-old Tarbell was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was released Thursday after posting $10,000 bail.

The Watertown Daily Times includes this detail:

He was among three people who led a march in May 1994 on Route 37 in Hogansburg. He helped carry a banner proclaiming “Akwesasne Against Drugs.” The men were running for St. Regis Mohawk tribal chief.

And the Plattsburgh Press-Republican is reporting that Tarbell allegedly acted suspiciously during a routine traffic stop.

[A]ccording to court documents, the 68-year-old was “twitching nervously” and firmly squeezing the steering wheel of his 2007 Nissan Quest.

His reaction to the official questions prompted agents to request a search of his vehicle, which he apparently complied with.

As always in such cases, Tarbell is only accused of these crimes and is innocent until proven guilty.  We will have the latest news on the story Monday morning during the 8 O’clock Hour.

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16 Comments on “Former Mohawk chief Tarbell indicted on Federal drug charges”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    I am so sick of the drug laws and the so called War on Drugs.
    This is nothing more than a make work program for the so called Criminal Justice System and an effort to protect the beer, alcohol and wine manufacturers corner on the buzz market.
    If we are going to have prohibition, lets have prohibition. Before Prohibition, everything was legal. After prohibition, the booze industry got a free/noncompetitive pass and so the nonsense began.
    Do I believe people should “do drugs?” No. I just think they should be allowed to have the drugs of their choice.
    Is this a free country or what?

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  2. motah says:

    …no pete, no, it is not a free country. just pay your taxes and move along, nothing to see here……..

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  3. mervel says:

    This arrest is truly shocking!

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  4. Bret4207 says:

    95 lbs, yeah, just a little weed for personal use. Gimme a break! He’s a DRUG DEALER/MULE.

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  5. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    That Border Patrol checkpoint in the middle of the Northway is proving just how useful it is. Sure a few people were killed in two horrific accidents (and by accidents I mean entirely predictable events) because of it and when I am stopped in traffic there I am reminded that I could be next but hey, they have made AT LEAST two big pot busts there in the last 7 or 8 years. Does everyone feel safer now?

    I was stopped there once with a ladder on my truck and the guy asked “what’s the ladder for?” I could see what he was thinking; I probably drove to the border in Canada with my ladder, put it against the fence, hauled my truck over the fence and escaped into the anonymity of American life with my terrorist ladder ready to do this nation harm from several feet above your head.

    I told him it was for getting high.

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  6. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    By the way, nice job burying the lead.

    “Dangerous and Expensive Traffic Stop Still in Effect:
    Few Tangible Results Except Deaths of Innocents”

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  7. Pete Klein says:

    One thing never mentioned is how drug dealers are true entrepreneurs who are just trying to make a living.
    They are far less of a problem than the bankers and crooks on Wall Street.
    Same goes for prostitutes.
    I think it’s not about what they sell but is more about not paying taxes. So tax it and stop the fun and games, and the make work project for the so called Criminal Justice System.
    Save even more money by getting rid of the DEA and don’t pay troopers any more than NYC cops.

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  8. Bret4207 says:

    Yeah, nothing like those wonderful entrepreneurs spreading DEATH with their illegal drugs.

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  9. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I tried to smoke myself to death with pot once. I just got really really hungry.

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  10. Pete Klein says:

    Bret,
    Same could be said of all the producers of beer, wine and alcohol. And, I would bet, more people die from those wet drugs than the dry drugs.
    Legal vs. illegal? So make the dry drugs legal.

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  11. Mervel says:

    Come on Bret at 68 I am sure this was the first time he ever tried anything like this, probably peer pressure.

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  12. Mervel says:

    If anyone thinks organized crime is victimless they should consider the murders-hits we have seen in Franklin and St. Lawrence County over drug deals, drug thefts in the past couple of years.

    If pot was legal he would have had coke in the bags, if coke was legal he would have had Uzi’s, it is not about legalizing some drugs or not it is about entrenched organized crime in the North Country on the reservation and in the North Country border areas.

    Maybe that is the price we all must pay for stealing all of the land we have stolen and broken the treaties we have broken?

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  13. Bret4207 says:

    I was right there with ya till you started the bleeding heart “oh, we stole from the indians” garbage Mervel. Read your history. They stole the land from other indians who stole the land from earlier indians, ad infitum.

    So way back in the 17 or 1800′s someone broke a treaty and that gives everyone the right to break all treaties and laws since then? Part of their agreement was to obey the laws, they aren’t doing that. Trying to justify it and offer them, or anyone else, an excuse based on white European guilt is pathetic.

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  14. TurdSandwich says:

    Knuck you made my day. Ladder for getting high. LMAO.
    Agree with bret on the “get over it”.
    Mervel, there’s a black market for just about anything you can imagine.
    Illegal is just an minor obstacle.

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  15. Mervel says:

    No excuses Bret and no guilt either. But the situation is what it is because there is a reservation that straddles the international border which has for many decades served as a smuggling conduit. The fact is the US and Canada have indeed dumped tons of heavy metals into a river system that the Mohawk owned we have broken treaties up through the 19th century with the Mohawks. This is not an excuse for crime but history does matter in how we deal with this situation.

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  16. Bret4207 says:

    The Rez is in a really dumb spot, that I’ll grant you. The pollution there is no different than in the Hudson or Great Lakes or any of a 100 other places. The Rez has nothing to do with that. What does matter is that it is a snake pit of illegal activity that harms people and the nation as a whole, not to mention assuring a life in and out of prison for the Mohawks that manage to get caught. With all the advantages the indigenous population can make use of these days, anyone turning to a life of crime off that Rez is doing so by choice, they reap what they sow. Too freakin’ bad. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

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