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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Federal Prosecutions in North Dakota Explode with Opiate Crisis

FARGO - US Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced today that over the last 24 months, thirty-seven (37) individuals have been charged or sentenced with heroin and/or fentanyl related crimes in federal court within the District of North Dakota.

US Attorney Myers stated, “We have prosecuted more fentanyl-related cases in federal court in North Dakota in the past two years than in the previous 10 years combined. There are a number of reasons why. First, we are aggressively targeting opiate traffickers whose product causes serious bodily harm or death. Second, with the introduction of substances like fentanyl, carfentanil, and their analogues into the local drug market, the level of risk to users, or even those people inadvertently exposed, has increased dramatically. Finally, the opiate epidemic is a healthcare crisis in North Dakota, as well as across the United States. With so many people addicted to these substances, the demand created makes it a lucrative endeavor for drug trafficking organizations.”

The following individuals have been sentenced for their roles in the trafficking of heroin, fentanyl, and/or analogues:

 

  • Jameson Robert Sele - Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, and was sentenced on July 27, 2015, to 3 years incarceration.

  • Ryan Jon Jensen - Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Death; two Counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death; Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury; and Money Laundering Conspiracy. Jensen was sentenced on February 2, 2016, to 20 years incarceration.

  • David Todd Noye Jr. - Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, and was sentenced on January 25, 2016, to 3 years and 3 months incarceration.

  • Joshua Tyler Fulp - Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Death, and was sentenced on January 27, 2016, to 12 years incarceration.

  • Kain Daniel Schwandt - Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, and was sentenced on January 25, 2016, to 3 ½ years incarceration.

  • Brandon Corde Hubbard - Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Death; Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death; and Money Laundering Conspiracy. Hubbard was sentenced on July 13, 2016, to incarceration for the remainder of his natural life.

  • Braden James Foley - Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and Distribution of a Controlled Substance, and was sentenced on November 21, 2016, to 2 ½ years incarceration.

  • Gregory Alan Krutsinger – Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, and was sentenced on October 4, 2016, to 18 years incarceration.

  • Tyrone Wilburn – Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, and was sentenced on January 23, 2017, to 12 ½ years incarceration.

  • John Michael Iten – Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, and was sentenced on May 15, 2017, to 5 years incarceration.

  • Dalton Lavelle White – Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, and was sentenced on May 15, 2017, to 18 ½ years incarceration.

  • Brandon Beyer – Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, and was sentenced on October 19, 2016, to 4 years incarceration.

  • Steven Jay Maynard Hoffman – Pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, and was sentenced on January 25, 2017, to 4 ½ years incarceration.

  • Naomi Marie Danielson – Pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, and was sentenced on November 30, 2016, to 2 years incarceration.

  • Matthew Gerald Davis – Pled guilty to Distribution of a Controlled Substance, and was sentenced on February 6, 2017, to 5 years incarceration.

  • Laquan Andre Thomas -Pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Controlled Substance Analogues, and was sentenced on May 8, 2017, to 5 years incarceration.

  • Rocky Laurence Fowler - Pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, and was sentenced on February 21, 2017, to 3 months’ incarceration followed by 3 years supervised release.

 

Myers added: “The average sentence for the above cases is roughly 9 ½ years in federal prison. It is no secret that the penalties in federal court for drug trafficking are much more severe than state court. We want drug traffickers to understand that if you traffic in fentanyl or similar substances in North Dakota, no matter what the amount, you will likely find yourself in federal court.”

 

The following individuals have pled guilty for their role in distributing heroin, fentanyl, or various analogues:

 

  • Ronnie Lee Helms - Pled guilty on March 1, 2017, to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Controlled Substance Analogue Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Death; sentencing set for July 31, 2017.

  • Brandon Joseph Jacobs – Pled guilty on January 25, 2017, to Distribution of a Controlled Substance; sentencing set for June 12, 2017.

  • Caleb Austin Ross - Pled guilty on April 24, 2017, to Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance Analogue Within 1000 Feet of a School; sentencing set for August 17, 2017.

  • Zachary David Chyle – Pled guilty on March 27, 2017, to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Resulting in Death and Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death; sentencing set for July 31, 2017.

  • Christian Harris – Pled guilty on February 22, 2017, to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance; sentencing set for June 15, 2017.

  • Joshua Robert Duran - Pled guilty on May 8, 2017, to Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition by a Prohibited Person; sentencing set for September 11, 2017.

  • Nathan Alan Goldsack - Pled guilty on September 14, 2016, to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance; two Counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin; two Counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine; awaiting a sentencing date

Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kenneth J. Solek said, “As the lead federal agency responsible for the enforcement of our Nation’s drug laws, the DEA will continue to be an active law enforcement partner with all federal, state, and local law enforcement entities that are combating the scourge of opioid abuse and the harm which results. This issue is both a North Dakota and National public safety concern since a minute amount can and often results in death. DEA will continue its partnership with both the United States Attorney’s Office and local state prosecutors to ensure that those who are responsible for the tremendous pain being levied on our communities are held fully accountable. DEA fully supports demand reduction efforts and will continue to engage the public in open forums, safety bulletins and media outreach, in an attempt to better inform the public as to the dangers associated with heroin, fentanyl, and all dangerous drugs.”

 

“These are dangerous substances that destroy everything they touch, tear apart lives, and ruin communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Alex Khu of Homeland Security Investigation - St. Paul. “Fentanyl and carfentanil alone are exponentially more dangerous than heroin, and are so hazardous that even law enforcement must take special precautions during arrests. The significant increase in arrests and aggressive prosecutions against the people pushing these drugs demonstrates the intensity and tenacity with which law enforcement is attacking this issue and highlights what successful partnerships can accomplish.”

 

An additional thirteen (13) defendants have been indicted on opiate-related charges and are awaiting trial this summer and fall.

 

Myers concluded, “Law enforcement cannot arrest our way out of this crisis; however, targeting the traffickers of these substances is an important part of the strategy. Only with community commitment to a multi-faceted approach and participation by leaders in treatment, healthcare, education, law enforcement, faith organizations, businesses, as well as all sectors of our communities, will we find some measure of success. There is hope if we continue to work together.”

 

An Indictment is merely an accusation, a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity; individuals charged are presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated June 13, 2017