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Press Release

St. Cloud, MN, Woman Pleads Guilty to Leading a Major Dangerous Drug Distribution Enterprise from Mexico

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

FARGO – United States Attorney Mac Schneider, District of North Dakota, announced that on March 13, 2023, Macalla Lee Knott a/k/a Kayla, age 30, from St. Cloud, MN, pled guilty in Federal Court in Fargo, ND, before Chief Judge Peter W. Welte, to the offenses of Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, Money Laundering Conspiracy and Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE). Sentencing is scheduled for August 7, 2023.

At the plea hearing, Knott admitted to supervising, managing, and leading more than five people in the enterprise. Knott, who had been living in Mexico since March of 2020, directed shipments of methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl to various distributors across the upper Midwest and arranged payments to sources of supply in Mexico.

This case is part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation into the international trafficking of methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl and was aided by coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota.

This investigation has led to eighteen (18) defendants charged in North Dakota. The investigation has been tied to seizures of over 100 pounds of methamphetamine, 9 pounds of fentanyl powder and 120,000 fentanyl pills. The investigation remains very active.

Sentenced in this case so far are:

Mary Thompson, 29, Moorhead, Minnesota – 100 months (8.3 years) imprisonment and 3 years supervised release.

Melanie Quick, 28, St. Cloud, Minnesota – 108 months (9 years) imprisonment and 3 years supervised release.

This case is being investigated by the Central Minnesota Violent Offenders Task Force (CMVOTF), Federal Bureau of Investigation, St. Cloud Police Department, Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Sartell Police Department, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, Morrison County Sheriff’s Office, Internal Revenue Service – CID, Fargo Police Department, West Fargo Police Department, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher C. Myers and Alex Stock, District of North Dakota, with the assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota and the Stearns County Attorney’s Office.

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Terry W. Van Horn 701-297-7458

Updated March 13, 2023