Shinnecock leader's son arrested as N.Y. police seize guns and drugs 4-19-07

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) - Police acting on Shinnecock Indian Nation leaders' request for a probe into drug dealing arrested the son of a tribal trustee Thursday, and accused him of being the main source of cocaine on the reservation.

A dozen other people were arrested on various drug, conspiracy and weapons charges, prosecutors and state police said.

Authorities said Awan Gumbs, 26, the son of Shinnecock Trustee Lance A. Gumbs, led the group, though two other men were accused of supplying him with large quantities of cocaine. Police said some drug sales took place inside the father's business, the Shinnecock Outpost in Southampton.

The investigation into narcotics sales on the reservation began in September after the Shinnecock trustees requested it, prosecutors said.

Lance Gumbs and other trustees confirmed in a statement that the tribe had asked for outside police assistance.

“The police action that took place with our consent on our lands, against some of our people, touches every household and causes pain to us all,” the statement said.

It did not specifically address Awan Gumbs' arrest, though it noted that the tribe was “hopeful that the scourge we have been living with is about to come to an end and our community restored to its natural beauty and balance.”

Police seized three luxury sport utility vehicles and an automobile, as well as handguns, a loaded AK47 assault weapon, rifles and shotguns during predawn raids on and off the eastern Long Island reservation.

Awan Gumbs' lawyer said none of the firearms was seized from his client.

“There was not one weapon found at his home,” Steven Politi said.

The Shinnecocks' 800acre reservation in Southampton is peppered with modest single family homes - a stark contrast to the palatial Hamptons estates just up the road.

For several years, the Shinnecocks have been trying to open a 65,000squarefoot casino in nearby Hampton Bays, but opposition from town and state officials has stymied their efforts.


Associated Press writer Samantha Gross in New York contributed to this report.