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Press Release

Detroit, MI, Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison for His Leadership Role in a Drug Trafficking Organization Targeting two of North Dakota’s Native American Reservations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota

FARGO – United States Attorney Mac Schneider announced that Romel Rambus, age 29, of Detroit, Michigan, appeared before Chief Judge Peter D. Welte, U.S. District Court, Fargo, ND, for his leadership role in a drug trafficking organization targeting two of North Dakota’s Native American Reservations. Rambus pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Money Laundering Conspiracy, and was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison, Five Years of supervised release, and $100 special assessment.

A multi-agency investigation led by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Drug Enforcement learned of a drug trafficking organization affiliated with the 5674 Reub Gang, a violent street gang operating out of Michigan, which was involved in transporting thousands of oxycodone/fentanyl pills to North Dakota for distribution, in Bismarck, ND, Minot, ND, Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and Spirit Lake Indian Reservation. As part of this organization, in approximately 2015, Romel Rambus, after the death of his brother, Reuben Rambus, took over the operation and worked with the Devonsha Dabney to distribute narcotics in North Dakota.

Co-Conspirator Jonathan B. Walker, a/k/a Jay, was sentenced on October 2, 2023, to 180 months incarceration, 5 years of supervised release, and $500 in special assessment fees. 

Co-Conspirator Devonsha Dabney a/k/a Kemell, was sentenced on October 10, 2023, to 180 months in federal prison, 4 years of supervised release, and $100 special assessment fees.

Over forty defendants were charged for their involvement in the drug trafficking organization and all defendants have enter pleas of guilty or signed plea agreements with the intent to plead guilty.   

“This sentence is another reminder to those who target tribal communities in North Dakota for distribution of dangerous drugs,” Schneider said. “Instead of short-term profits, you’ll be facing a long-term stay in federal prison. Bringing this defendant and his co-conspirators to justice is the result of relentless efforts by our career prosecutors and their multi-agency law enforcement partners.”

The Previous Press Release for this investigation can be seen by clicking the following link:

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Drug Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (Detroit), the Drug Enforcement Administration, Ward County Narcotics Task Force, Metro Area Narcotics Task Force, Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Division of Drug Enforcement, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, North Dakota Crime Laboratory, and Minot Police Department.

The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, with Assistant United States Attorneys Dawn Deitz and Alex Stock assigned with the assistance of lead investigator Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Drug Enforcement Special Agent Isaiah Soldier.



Terry W. Van Horn  701-297-7400

Updated February 23, 2024