Horrific crimes on Indian reservation draw prison sentences

Two defendants were given lengthy federal prison sentences Wednesday in separate, back-to-back horrific crimes of violence against children last year that rattled residents of a Montana American Indian reservation and prompted tribal leaders to blame rampant drug use.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris sentenced a woman from the Fort Peck Reservation to 20 years in prison for the murder of a 13-month-old who had been under her care. Less than two hours earlier, Morris handed down a 42-year prison term to a man who kidnapped and raped a 4-year-old girl on the reservation.

Tribal leaders said the crimes, which occurred within weeks of one another, were rooted in the rising...