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Press Release

Milwaukee, WI, Man Sentenced for His Role in a Drug Conspiracy Resulting in Death and Serious Bodily Injury

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

FARGO:  United States Attorney Christopher C. Myers announces that on December 18, 2018, U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett, Northern District of Iowa, sitting by designation, sentenced JOVAN MARQUIS HARRIS, age 28, of Milwaukee, WI, on a charge of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and Distribute a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death and Serious Bodily Injury; three counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death or Serious Bodily Injury; and two counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance.  Judge Bennett sentenced Harris to a period of 25 years in federal prison on each of four counts related to distributing heroin resulting in death or serious bodily injury, and 20 years on the final two counts, all of the sentences to be served concurrently.  Harris was also ordered to pay $10,715.41 in restitution for funeral expenses, $600 in special assessments, and will serve 5 years of supervised release after his incarceration. 

Law enforcement’s investigation into a spike in the heroin overdose deaths of individuals in the Fargo-Moorhead area between September 2015 and April 2016 resulted in the indictment of Harris for the overdose death of one person in Moorhead, MN, on September 1, 2015, and the non-fatal overdoses of two individuals in Fargo, ND, on August 27 and September 1, 2015.  Harris also sold heroin on two occasions in March 2016 to a confidential informant in Fargo, ND.  The heroin Harris was distributing was brought to the Fargo-Moorhead area from Milwaukee, WI.

Harris was convicted by a Fargo jury on May 14, 2018, following a six-day trial.

U.S. Attorney Myers stated, "As we are painfully aware, many families in our community have been ripped apart by the scourge of opiates. We will continue to aggressively pursue those individuals who seek to profit from the death and destruction of drug trafficking. The sentence in this case sends another strong message that in North Dakota drug traffickers will be held accountable. We must not lose sight of the fact that this is a community-wide problem that needs a community solution - everyone must continue the fight, together.   I want to commend the excellent work of this team of prosecutors, support staff, and law enforcement in bringing some measure of justice for the victims in this case.”

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Moorhead Police Department, Cass County Drug Task Force, Cass County Sheriff’s Office, and North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, with assistance from Cass County State’s Attorney, North Dakota Crime Lab, Minnesota BCA Crime Lab, and Ramsey County (MN) Medical Examiner.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett Shasky and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake Rodenbiker


Updated December 19, 2018