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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Midwest HIDTA Director Presents Awards in Fargo to Law Enforcement from the United States and Canada

FARGO - US Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on May 24, 2016, Midwest HIDTA Director Jeffrey Stamm presented a Midwest HIDTA Regional Award for ‘Outstanding Cooperative Effort’ to various members of law enforcement from the United States and Canada for their teamwork on "Operation Denial."

The Midwest HIDTA is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, and was established in 1990 after the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 was passed. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program is a drug-prohibition enforcement program run by the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy. The mission of the program is to enhance and coordinate America’s drug-control efforts among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in order to eliminate or reduce drug trafficking and its harmful consequences in critical regions of the United States. The term "HIDTA" also refers to each geographic location, usually a major city, county, or border crossing, in which the program has established a headquarters which are placed in locations considered to be major drug trafficking zones; to date, 28 HIDTAs have been designated since the program began. Each HIDTA is governed by a HIDTA Executive Board which includes representatives from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in the area of each HIDTA. By law, each HIDTA Board is equally divided between federal law enforcement on the one side and state and local agencies on the other. The Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force is a HIDTA-funded task force. The following individuals were honored by the HIDTA program and received the Outstanding Cooperative Effort Award for their exemplary work on "Operation Denial":

• Special Agent Steve Gilpin, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation

• Special Agent Scott Kraft, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation

• Special Agent Michael Ness, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation

• Special Agent Ed Carter, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation

• Special Agent Jeremy Grube, Homeland Security Investigations – Grand Forks

• Detective Daniel Casetta, Grand Forks Police Department

• Investigator Joel Lloyd, Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office

• Investigator Delicia Glaze, Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office

• Detective Darin Johnson, Grand Forks Police Department

• Sergeant Devan Greuel, University of North Dakota Police Department

• Investigator Andreas Alt, WCSO/Grand Forks Police Department/Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force

• Sergeant Derek Madsen, Pembina County Sheriff’s Office

• Christopher Steenerson, Border Patrol

• Intelligence Analyst Lisa Gemar, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation

• Intelligence Analyst Ross Brumley, North Dakota Counter Drug

• Sergeant Travis Jacobson, Grand Forks Police Department

• Intelligence Research Specialist Devin Stefanowicz, Homeland Security Investigations – Grand Forks

• Special Agent Craig Williams, Homeland Security Investigations – Grand Forks

• Special Agent Brian Black, Homeland Security Investigations – Grand Forks

• United States Attorney Chris Myers, District of North Dakota

• Assistant United States Attorney Scott Schneider, District of North Dakota

• Assistant United States Attorney Scott Kerin, District of Oregon

• Grand Forks County State’s Attorney David Jones

• Grand Forks County Assistant State’s Attorney Carmell Mattison

• Special Agent Tom Irvin, United States Postal Inspection Service

• Special Agent Adam Henney, United States Postal Inspection Service

• Special Agent Mike Buemi, Drug Enforcement Administration – West Palm Beach, FL

• Special Agent Chuck Connelly, Drug Enforcement Administration – Fargo

• Special Agent Guy Gino, Homeland Security Investigations – Portland, Oregon

• France Beauchamp, Canadian Crown Prosecutor – Montreal

• Inspector Marc Grecco, Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Montreal

• Corporal Jacques Theberge, Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Montreal

• Staff Sargeant Joe Tomeo, Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Montreal

• Sargeant Josee Pelletier, Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Montreal

• Corporal Stephan Dufort, Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Montreal

• Constable Karim Mahrady, Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Montreal

"Operation Denial" is an international investigation that was initiated in 2015 after the overdose death of Bailey Henke in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The investigation has resulted in numerous indictments and convictions in federal court in the Districts of North Dakota and Oregon.

North Dakota Defendants

The following defendants, who are each from Grand Forks, have been sentenced in this case:

Ryan Jon Jensen - 240 months (20 years)

Joshua Tyler Fulp – 144 months (12 years)

Kain Daniel Schwandt – 42 months (3 ½ years)

David Todd Noye Jr. – 39 months (3 years 3 months)

Jameson Robert Sele – 36 months (3 years)

Brandon Corde Hubbard of Portland, Oregon, has pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death and is currently set for sentencing in Fargo on June 6, 2016.

Ronnie Lee Helms of Acworth, Georgia, and Braden James Foley of Olympia, Washington, have been indicted in this case and are currently scheduled for trial July 5, 2016, in Fargo.

Daniel Vivas Ceron was arrested in Panama City, Panama, on July 17, 2015, and is currently awaiting extradition from Panama.

Oregon Defendants

Steven Fairbanks Locke – Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance. Trial set for July 19, 2016.

Channing Lacey – 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 set for July 19, 2016.

Carissa Marie Laprall - 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 set for July 19, 2016.

An Indictment is merely an accusation and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Updated May 24, 2016