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Robert Satiacum

Puyallup Tribe of Indians

In the early 1980's a strongly supported Republican politician did pressure the local district office of the U.S. Attorneys' Office to put my Father away in prison. My Father was indicted on some phony charges of racketeering. The charges (42 of them) were for the sale of cigarettes on a Indian reservation without collecting the state sales tax.

The legal defense was the "Colville Decion" did not apply to the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The Colville Tribe did consent to the State of Washington to assert its' jurisdiction pursuant to Public Law 280 and, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians did not consent to Public Law 280. The "Colville Decision" was made possible because the Colville Tribe did consent to State jurisdiction and was not collecting State sales-tax. The Feds did use that as the basis of the case and won all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Even as late as 1973, State Attorney General Slate Gorton for the State of Washington asserted the Puyallup Tribe did not exist anymore in his argument in the famous "Boldt" decision.

My Father started selling cigarettes on the Puyallup Indian reservation in the late sixties, free of state-tax and then in the retail sales of fireworks . The State of Washington did not like the sales of cigarettes and fireworks on the reservation because they lost some tax money. The State often asked the help of the Feds to help enforce State laws on Federal land. My Father stood up against the state police powers that wrongfuly exercised their jurisdiction to regulate businesses on Indian reservations. The U.S. Supreme Court did uphold an appealed case from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. That case was in California and California was told they could not regulate any business on an Indian reservation.

My Father made a sacrifice that I will hope the world will understand someday. From 1981 till 1991 was pure hell for me. My Father told me to not disclose any information until he was gone because "they (Feds) will do to them (smoke-shop owners) what they are doing to me". The U.S. Attorney should have done his homework, those "42 Counts of Trafficing in Contraband Cigarettes" should have been levied against me. I was wholesaling those cigarettes to 29 different smoke shops in the State of Washington.

The U.S. Attorney presented his case alleging those cigarettes were sold at my families' smoke shops. The State of Washington and the U.S. Attorney claimed my father sold enough cigarettes to owe seven-million dollars in taxes for two years worth of sales. Under RICO, the charges are tripled and the U.S. Government wanted twenty-three million dollars in damages. My father was convicted of "racketerring" and was to be sentenced. My father fled to Canada to avoid being murdered in a U.S. Prison. My family; brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles lost everything we had worked for.

The local Federal Prosecutor did get the testimony of individuals that were granted immunity from prosecution and, the witnesses for the government did state under oath they were lying. My Father did not commit any of those offenses he was charged with.

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians, and many of the Indian tribes across the United States did benefit from the "Chief of all Chiefs" brave actions in fighting for our sovereignty.

Auntie Shirley, Auntie Delores, Auntie Lillian, Auntie Alma.
Uncle Jr., Uncle Buddy, Uncle Jack.

Mom, Stepmom,
Robert, Me, Vicki, Jody, Renee, Rob, Ty, Lisa.
My Daughters

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