Apr 6, 2015 6:31 PM by Brian Johnson
Today, U.S. Attorney Ben Wagner and the Department of Justice awarded TCSO with the Sacramento Division's Outstanding Law Enforcement Agency Award for keeping the peace during a heated and long tribal dispute at Rolling Hills Casino last summer.
"You know, we're going to do what we have to do to keep the peace," Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt said last June.
And though that was a taxing task for Hencratt and his team, it certainly paid off.
"It was really due to your efforts that a really ugly situation was effectively diffused and now is on its way to really being sort of fully resolved over the long term," Wagner told sheriff's deputies during a press conference in Red Bluff today.
Wagner said his office was in constant communication with TCSO about the complicated situation, with a new round of phone calls between Sacramento and Red Bluff happening every time it looked like things might boil over.
Wagner said that if there was gun violence, federal authorities more than likely would have stepped in.
"Of course we were trying to be restrained, led by the Tehama County Sheriff's Office to be as light handed as possible, but had things taken a turn for the worse, we were ready to sort of come in with more force and more tools to try and address the situation," Wagner said.
"Two things were gonna happen," Hencratt said. "It was gonna be a tragic ending or we were going to start taking people to jail to try and solve the problem."
But only two people were detained during the dispute, said Lt. Dave Greer, and although there was a lot of pushing and shoving and all the elements present for violence, he said most guns stayed in holsters.
"They also did not want to have bloodshed but they were both very driven," Greer said. "One was driven to come in and take back the casino and the other were driven to maintain control of the casino. So it was a very difficult time."
Last month, a federal lawsuit was filed by the side in control of the casino against those who were ousted, accusing them of embezzling millions of dollars for luxury purposes, which is what they've alleged since the very beginning last spring.
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