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Apache offices change hands in Anadarko
Federal Indian agency can mediate the dispute, official says

By Tony Thornton Published: September 10, 2008

/> Monday, Ahtone's faction took control of the tribal headquarters, and a few spent the night there. Shortly before dawn Tuesday, armed security guards from a company apparently hired by Chalepah's faction showed up, Ahtone said.

"They busted down the two front doors, put people on the floors and handcuffed them at gunpoint. A couple people tried to get away, and they pulled them out of their vehicles,” Ahtone said.

He said those people later were allowed to leave.

Chalepah and Rivera didn't return phone messages Tuesday.

What the agency can do
As of Tuesday evening, no arrests had been made and the building remained in control of people loyal to Chalepah and Rivera, although the two elected leaders weren't inside, Ahtone said.

The tribe's headquarters isn't on federal trust land, so the BIA lacks jurisdiction, said Bruner, the BIA official.

Typically in such cases, the bureau tries to help the two factions iron out an agreement, he said.