Forty-one people were indicted on Thursday, accused of being members of a multi-state heroin trafficking conspiracy. The 41 defendants named in the indictment were charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, Methamphetamine, Oxycodone, Hydromorphone, Hydrocodone, and Methadone. Several defendants were charged with additional crimes related to the drug trafficking scheme, including firearms offenses.
The defendants are making initial appearances this week before Magistrate Judge Tony Leung in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota. The following statements were issued in a news release on Thursday:
"These defendants, led by Omar Beasley, represented the most significant source of heroin in Indian Country,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. “Through close collaboration with our federal, local, and Tribal law enforcement partners, we have shut down this major pipeline that was spreading heroin across the Red Lake and White Earth Indian Reservations and the surrounding communities.”
"The Omar Beasley heroin and prescription drug trafficking organization cared nothing about the collateral damage it inflicted upon neighborhoods, families, and especially young children on tribal lands in Minnesota and elsewhere in the Midwest," stated DEA Minneapolis-St Paul Assistant Special Agent in Charge Dan Moren. "Beasley and the 40 other members of his organization believed that federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies throughout the region were not speaking with one another and connecting the dots…they were wrong."
Red Lake Police Department's Public Safety Director William Brunelle said: "We have sent a clear message to drug trafficking organizations that drug dealing will not be tolerated on or near Tribal reservations. I have a great appreciation and the utmost respect for all law enforcement agencies participating in this drug investigation. This is a perfect example of how multiple law enforcement agencies can successfully collaborate against one common enemy that is devastating both Indian and Non-Indian communities alike. Drug dealers have no borders to follow and law enforcement has proven that they will cross all borders to get the job done as well."
White Earth Police Department's Public Safety Director Randy Goodwin said: "We are proud of the hard work and dedication that resulted in the arrests of a criminal organization that prospered from poisoning many people on the White Earth Nation. Many lives, families and communities have been damaged or destroyed from this poison. Now, the hard work of healing and wellness begins!"
According to the indictment and documents filed in court, from at least April 2014 until April 2015, Omar Sharif Beasley, 37, led a drug trafficking conspiracy in which he recruited drug sources, managers, distributors, facilitators, couriers and drivers to bring heroin and other drugs to the Red Lake and White Earth Indian Reservations in Minnesota and Native American communities in North Dakota.
According to the indictment and documents filed in court, between April 2014 and April 2015, the defendants conspired with each other to distribute multiple kilograms of heroin, as well as methamphetamine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, and methadone to the communities in and surrounding the Red Lake and White Earth Indian Reservations.
As part of the drug trafficking conspiracy, Beasley traveled from Minneapolis to Red Lake, Minnesota, White Earth, Minnesota, and to North Dakota to provide drugs to co-conspirators for distribution on the Indian Reservations. Beasley would then return to major cities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan to replenish the supply of drugs to bring into Indian Country.
According to the indictment and documents filed in court, William David Alonzo, 23, Calvin Beasley, 58, Willie Bellamy, Jr., 67, Ernestine Dukes, 45, Michael Lenior Dukes, 47, Brenda Ann Fagan, 67, Velvet Ilene Johnson, 44, Yvette Kouayara, 53, Burney Abdulah Peoples, 27, Doeron Earl Rayford, 41, Lamarcus Antonio Brock, 37, Stephen Martin Hollis, 37, Michael Travell Collins, 38, Yalonzo Ramon Hull, 50, Stacey Rae Duchaine, 24, Sarah Elizabeth Thompson, 30, and Jodi Lynn Kjolberg, 44, served as the out-of-state branches of the drug trafficking organization. These defendants acted as facilitators, suppliers, transporters, or distributors from Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and North Dakota.
According to the indictment and documents filed in court, Travis James Baker, 25, Rose Lynn Barrett, 27, Sonnie Marie Barrett, 26, Timothy Joseph Beaulieu, Jr., 33, Michael Joseph Dominguez, 29, April Marie Graves, 31, Jarvis Allen King, 23, Christopher Erving Peoples, 33, Ravonna Raye Peoples, 44, Sherrlene Rose Roberts, 67, Dale Andrew Sigana, 32, and Robyn Joanne Wipf, 33, served as the Red Lake branch of the drug trafficking organization. These defendants distributed drugs on the Red Lake Indian Reservation on behalf of the conspiracy. They also maintained drug stash houses on the reservation and gave the proceeds of drug sales to co-conspirators.
Several co-conspirators, identified in the indictment as William James Fasthorse, 25, Durial John Jackson, 29, Justin Lee Johnson, 24, Gene Michael Keezer, 37, Nakota Harris Keezer, 37,Rodney Lee Keezer, 36, Jennifer Lynn Oppegard, 27, Jessica Rae Oppegard, 36, Lee Allen Oppegard, 39, Lucas John Peterson, 26, and Maisie Ann Sargent, 25, served as the White Earth branch of the drug trafficking organization. These defendants facilitated, managed, transported and distributed drugs on the White Earth Indian Reservation on behalf of the conspiracy. They also received and transferred funds, as well as maintained drug stash houses on the White Earth Indian Reservation.