Press release from the Hoopa Valley Tribe:

The Hoopa Valley Tribal Court has issued an order excluding Warren “Pops” Sloan IV from the exterior boundaries of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. The order took effect on August 19, 2021, and was issued in response to a petition filed by Chairman Joe Davis and the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council.

The exclusion of Sloan from the Reservation is part of the Tribe’s larger effort to address the issue of dangerous drugs, including fentanyl, being sold in Hoopa. Sloan, a 24-year-old tribal member, has been implicated in drug-dealing that led to the tragic deaths of two Hoopa youths. Both Stephanie Lewis, 19, and Mercidez Mosier, 20, died from apparent overdoses caused by fentanyl pills that are believed to have originated from Sloan.

The Humboldt County Drug Task Force, with the assistance of the Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department, has been investigating Sloan because of his connection to these tragic overdoses as well as his association with known fentanyl dealers. As part of that ongoing investigation, Drug Task Force officers observed Sloan in Willow Creek attempting to purchase a large quantity of fentanyl pills known as “perc30.” These opioid street drugs are extremely dangerous and Chairman Davis and the Tribal Council are committed to removing them from the community.

Before issuing its order, the Hoopa Valley Tribal Court held a telephonic hearing attended by Hoopa tribal leaders and witnesses who were ready to provide testimony. During the hearing, Sloan stated that he opposed exclusion and asked for time to obtain an attorney. The Tribal Court decided an immediate exclusion order was warranted but agreed to hold another hearing on September 16, 2021, at which point it will determine whether any modifications to the exclusion order are appropriate.

At the next hearing the Tribal Council will be urging that the exclusion order be kept in place.

“This is just one step in the process to accomplish our goals relating to drug abuse on the Reservation and in our Tribal Community” said Chairman Davis. “The Tribal Council wants everyone to know that we will no longer stand for it. More recommendations for exclusion will be heading to Tribal Court and we will be working hard to address the crisis that is our drug epidemic in many other ways. This will be a well rounded approach that will include efforts in: education, treatment, outreach, job opportunities, and addressing historical trauma, mental health, and poverty. We are thankful for the support of these efforts we have received from the Hoopa Community as well as the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.”