News and Press Releases

Drug Source for Valley City Sentenced for Drug Trafficking Conspiracy, Use of a Firearm in a Drug Trafficking Crime and Solicitation to Commit Murder

February 27, 2012

FARGO - First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Jordheim announced that on Feb. 27, 2012, Jeremy Jon Hoff, 24, from Bird Island, Minn., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson to 32 years in prison for his role in a large-scale drug trafficking conspiracy that was the subject of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation entitled “Operation Johnny #1.”

During the course of the conspiracy that was the subject of the Operation Johnny #1 investigation, the targeted Drug Trafficking Organization transported over 10 pounds of methamphetamine from Minnesota to the Valley City, N.D., area. Hoff was the leader of this conspiracy whose members perpetrated violence and intimidation to further their illegal activities.

On March 20, 2011, Hoff discharged a firearm in a trailer home near Granite Falls Minn. The purpose of this incident was to threaten and intimidate another person Hoff thought may be cooperating with law enforcement.

After Hoff was in custody for the shooting incident in the Meeker County (Minn.) jail, he solicited another inmate to murder two witnesses after learning of the federal investigation into his trafficking activities. The targets of the murder plot were the victim of the shooting incident near Granite Falls and another co-conspirator in Valley City, N.D.

In Fargo, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Jordheim said, “OCDETF investigations are designed to target the leaders of criminal organizations, particularly those involved in violent crime to further their criminal activity. Intelligence based investigations like Operation Johnny #1 protect our community by targeting the leaders of these organization and bringing them to justice.”

Jordheim also added, “I also want to recognize the outstanding efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney and OCDETF Chief Chris Myers and his team from our office and from local, state and federal law enforcement in producing the outstanding results of Operation Johnny #1. These dedicated men and women continue to work hard and produce great results for the citizens of North Dakota and the United States.”

To date, defendants that have been sentenced in Operation Johnny #1 on drug conspiracy and witness tampering charges include:

  • Kristen Suann Klubben - Fargo, N.D.
    • Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances -180 months

  • Luke Anthony Bina - Pine City, Minn.
    • Witness Tampering - 72 months

  • John Leo Hatcher - Valley City, N.D.
    • Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances - 60 months

  • Alysha Clarice Sabby - Valley City, N.D.
    • Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances - 48 months

  • Kyle Michael Ronnigen - Valley City, N.D.
    • Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances - 21 months

  • The following defendants have plead guilty and are awaiting sentencing:

  • Ryan Utvick - Williston, N.D. - Sentencing date: 3/19/12
    • Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances

  • Jarrod Aaron Yokum - Valley City, N.D. - Sentencing date: 3/12/12
    • Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances

OCDETF is a Department of Justice program initiated in 1982 that facilitates the cooperation of law enforcement and efficient allocation of resources to identify, target and dismantle large-scale domestic and international drug trafficking organizations and other types of organized crime.

Operation Johnny #1 is an investigation lead by the Drug Enforcement Administration - Fargo. Local and state agencies assisting with the investigation were: the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation; West Fargo Police Department; CEE VI Drug Task Force, Willmar, Minnesota; Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; Cass County Drug Task Force; Yellow Medicine County (Minn.) Sheriff’s
Department; Yellow Medicine County (Minn.) Attorney’s Office; and the Meeker County (Minn.) Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Myers prosecuted the cases.



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