Jahner speaks out regarding ongoing law enforcement presence in rural Cass County community

(Absaraka, ND) — Residents in a rural Cass County community have been on high alert following a large law enforcement presence in the rural community.

Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner said Tuesday that his department responded to an incident in Absaraka on April 17, which he described as a ‘disturbance.’ The caller indicated that someone was trespassing on their property, and they were concerned. The caller confronted the individuals and the vehicle left the area. The caller followed the vehicle, contacted the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and followed until deputies were able to get to the area.

Some of the individuals in the vehicle entered a residence.

“We made contact with some of the people that were in the vehicle,” Jahner said in an exclusive interview on WDAY Radio’s Jay Thomas Show on Tuesday. “And through that conversation with those individuals, that person admitted to us that some of the people in the residence were in the country illegally.”

Jahner said the following day he attempted to contact the United States Border Patrol – and didn’t receive a response for several days. When reached, Border Patrol agents told Jahner that he would need to talk to Enforcement and Removal Operations, or ERO, which is an arm of the Border Patrol.

“I told him, ‘Hey, I’m looking for assistance to go out to, to this place and identify some individuals because we were told that they were in the country illegally. And at that point, the agent there told me that they were not going to be able to come out there with us. They don’t have the resources to do that.’”

Jahner said the agent he spoke to cited the southern border as the reason for the lack of resources.

He has received assistance from Homeland Security Investigations.

As for the current status of the investigation, Jahner said he and his staff are investigating who is in the home, and how many could be in the country illegally and staying in the home.

“My staff and I aren’t done at this point in determining exactly what we have going on there,” he said. “We are not being secretive. Our office is always open and transparent.”

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