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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Colombian National Extradited to North Dakota from Panama

FARGO - US Attorney Christopher C. Myers, along with US Attorney Billy J. Williams, District of Oregon, announced on January 26, 2017, that Daniel Vivas Ceron, 36, of Colombia, was extradited to the United States after Panamanian authorities authorized the extradition of Vivas Ceron. Vivas Ceron arrived in North Dakota on January 25, 2017, and is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Alice Senechal on January 26, 2017 at 3:15pm in Fargo, N.D.

Vivas Ceron was taken into custody in Panama City, Panama, on July 17, 2015, pursuant to the arrest warrant in connection with an Indictment out of the District of North Dakota charging him with: (1) Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances and Controlled Substance Analogues Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Death; (2) Conspiracy to Import Controlled Substances and Controlled Substance Analogues into the United States Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Death; (3) Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death; (4) Money Laundering Conspiracy, and (5) Continuing Criminal Enterprise. Since Vivas Ceron’s arrest in July of 2015, the United States Attorney’s Office, working with the Office of International Affairs of the Department of Justice, has been working diligently to extradite Vivas Ceron.

The arrest comes as part of “Operation Denial,” an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation into the international trafficking of fentanyl and other lethal drugs, and was significantly aided by the national and international coordination led by the multi-agency Special Operations Division (S.O.D.) near Washington D.C. as part of

“Operation Deadly Merchant.” The investigation started in North Dakota on January 3, 2015,

with the overdose death in Grand Forks of 18-year-old Bailey Henke.

Additional defendants charged in Federal court in this investigation include:

District of North Dakota

 

  1. Jameson Robert Sele, 20, Grand Forks, ND – Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances and was sentenced on 7/27/15 to 36 months’ in federal prison.

  2. Ryan Jon Jensen, 20, Grand Forks, ND – Pled guilty on 2/27/15 to: Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Death; two Counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death; and Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Money Laundering Conspiracy. Sentenced on 2/2/2016 to 20 years in federal prison.

  3. David Todd Noye Jr., 18, Grand Forks, ND – Pled guilty on 5/4/15 to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances. Sentenced on 1/25/2016 to serve 3 years and 3 months in federal prison.

  4. Joshua Tyler Fulp, 20, Grand Forks, ND – Pled guilty on 6/23/15 to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Death and was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison.

  5. Kain Daniel Schwandt, 19, Grand Forks, ND - Pled guilty on 7/24/15 to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances. Sentenced on 1/25/2016 to serve 3 years and 6 months in federal prison.

  6. Brandon Corde Hubbard, 40, Portland, OR - Indicted on charges of: Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Death; Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death; and Money Laundering Conspiracy. Sentenced on 07/13/2016 to serve life in federal prison.

  7. Ronnie Lee Helms, 30, Acworth, GA - Indicted on charges of: Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and Distribution of a Controlled Substance and Controlled Substance Analogues Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Death. Jury trial is set for 3/7/2017.

  8. Braden James Foley, 28, Olympia, WA - Pled guilty on 8/11/2016 to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and Distribution of a Controlled Substance and was sentenced to 30 months in in federal prison on 11/21/2016

 

District of Oregon

  1. Steven Fairbanks Locke – Charges with: Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance. Trial pending.

  2. Channing Lacey – Charged with: Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury; Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death; Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute. Trial pending.

  3. Carissa Marie Laprall – Charged with: three Counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Distribute. Trial pending.

This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Postal Inspection Service, Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Portland Oregon Police Bureau – Drugs and Vice Division, Portland HIDTA Interdiction Task Force, Oregon State Police, and the Grand Forks Police Department.

United States Attorney Christopher C. Myers is prosecuting the cases in North Dakota; Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Kerin is prosecuting the cases in the District of Oregon and will be assisting as a Special Assistant U.S Attorney (SAUSA) in North Dakota as the investigation moves forward.

The Indictment and Order of Extradition in this case are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Updated January 26, 2017