KHRT ND News – 11/09/21

KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 110921 – 1200
 
FARGO, ND – Five people have been indicted in a drug trafficking conspiracy directed at the Turtle Mountain and Spirit Lake Reservations. Acting U.S. Attorney Nick Chase says a federal grand jury has indicted the individuals for Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Distribution of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine).

The indictment alleged that the following individuals conspired to sell methamphetamine:

 
• Uzziel Lucero Garcia, a/k/a O Girl, a/k/a Uzzi, age 25, Arizona

• Allan Gordon Widmayer, a/k/a Woody, age 57, Minot, North Dakota

• Corey James Baker, age 50, Sheyenne, North Dakota

• Nathan James Smith, age 40, Fort Totten, North Dakota

• Charlsie Marie Walking Elk, age 36, Tokio, North Dakota

 
The last of the charged defendants, Smith, appeared in federal court November 8, 2021.

In January of 2021, Nathan Smith was arrested on Spirit Lake tribal charges following a high-speed chase. A later search of his vehicle yielded 73 grams of methamphetamine. The investigation indicated that the methamphetamine came from Baker through Walking Elk. As a result of a traffic stop in Grand Forks in June of 2021, law enforcement seized eight ounces of methamphetamine and more than $27,000 in cash from Baker. Baker’s sources were identified as “Woody” from Minot and “O Girl” from Arizona, later identified as defendants Allan Widmayer and Uzziel Garcia. A controlled buy and a search warrant on Widmayer’s house yielded more than 30 pounds of methamphetamine and more than $32,000 in cash. Garcia was arrested after she had been in contact with Widmayer and had traveled to North Dakota to collect money. The investigation indicated that Baker had been receiving 2-3 pounds of methamphetamine per month from Widmayer and Garcia since 2018, resulting in more than 350 pounds of methamphetamine. The methamphetamine was primarily distributed on the Spirit Lake and Turtle Mountain Reservations.

“This investigation is an incredible federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement endeavor, working together to dismantle a major narcotics trafficking ring from our North Dakota tribal communities,” said Acting United States Attorney Nicholas W. Chase. “This conspiracy is alleged to have been targeting North Dakota communities in multiple pound quantities and that translates to thousands of doses of drugs that have been intercepted and taken off the street before they could further fuel addition.”

“This indictment paints a tragic picture of a coordinated distribution effort to push this poison across tribal lands,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Paul. “We have seen a recent surge in both methamphetamine and opioid cases, and the FBI remains committed to working with our partners to arrest those responsible for threatening and exploiting tribal communities.”

Grand jury Indictments are allegations and are not evidence of guilt. The
defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

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ARGO, N.D. (AP) – A Fargo woman has been sentenced to serve seven years in prison for fatally stabbing her boyfriend. 34-year old Terin Stately had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter in an agreement with prosecutors after she was initially charged with murder. Stately told the judge in Cass County District Court Monday that she did not intend to kill 27-year-old Keanen Poitra at their Fargo apartment in May 2020 and that the stabbing was the result of ongoing drug use and domestic abuse. Stately told investigators that she and Poitra had argued about him seeing other women. She said she grabbed a steak knife to keep Poitra away from her. The stab wound severed an artery, causing Poitra’s death.
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MINOT, ND – Smoke and flames in the sky south of Minot on Monday were the result of a large fire involving hundreds of large round hay bales. Minot Rural Fire Chief Rex Weltikol says they were dispatched to the fire along 54th Avenue SE around 4 PM. Weltikol says seven fire departments responded to the fire with 20 trucks. Firefighters had the blaze under control in about 2 hours, but remained on scene to monitor. Weltikol reports that about 800 bales were lost in the fire. He noted this morning that the burning bales are under control but will be burning for a while. No one was hurt in the fire. No word on the cause.
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BISMARCK, ND – Today’s COVID-19 information from the North Dakota Department of Health lists 3,455 active cases, up 307 from yesterday. The daily positive rate is 9.58%. There are 791 new positives today and 499 newly recovered. Hospitalizations are up two to 150, with 17 of those in ICU. Health officials also report 5 more deaths among those who were positive (1796).
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KHRT NEWS – TUESDAY – 110921 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Bills to prevent vaccine mandates and the teaching of certain concepts of race and racism were among a handful of measures approved for advancement Monday during the opening day of the North Dakota Legislature’s special session. More than two dozen bills were submitted ahead of the session but had to win the endorsement of the House or Senate’s delayed-bills committee. The bipartisan panels both have five members and are controlled by the Legislature’s GOP leadership.
 
Republicans control both chambers of the North Dakota Legislature. Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner and House Majority Leader Chet Pollert told reporters that the session’s priorities are legislative redistricting and the approval of a spending plan for federal coronavirus relief aid. But restricting vaccination mandates and banning the teaching of certain concepts of race and racism, known as critical race theory, are hot-button issues that need to be addressed, the leaders said. “We work for the people,” Wardner said. Bills to prevent vaccine mandates are “right on top of the priority list for them.” Legislators will begin hearings on the legislation today.
 
The prospect of vaccine mandates has become a lightning-rod issue in North Dakota. Several hundred people gathered outside the Capitol Monday to oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and to urge lawmakers to quickly counter them. North Dakota’s Republican leadership and Gov. Doug Burgum oppose vaccine mandates and State Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has brought North Dakota into a federal lawsuit challenging President Joe Biden’s push for them.
 
The special session approved by Burgum has no time restriction, but legislative leaders said they hoped it would only last five days. Any legislation during a special session could take effect immediately upon being approved by a majority vote. Legislators make $189 daily while in session. Each day they are in a special session costs taxpayers about $64,000.
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WOLF POINT, Mont. (AP) – A shooting that left three people dead at a casino on the border of Montana and North Dakota appears to have been a double murder-suicide perpetrated by the husband of one of the victims, authorities said. Surveillance video from the shooting at a casino near Bainville, Mont. appeared to show that 56-year old Bradford Mann shot and killed his wife, 49-year old Jennifer Mann, and 63-year old Scot Panasuk before taking his own life, Roosevelt County Sheriff Jason Frederick said. Frederick said the Mann, of Williston, North Dakota, and Panasuk, who was from Bainville, knew each other. He provided no further details.
 
Deputies responded to reports of a shooting about 5:20 p.m. Saturday, and found the three people dead when they arrived. Frederick said no one else was injured. Bainville is a small farming town of about 300 people in far Eastern Montana that has grown over the last 10 years with booming activity at the nearby Bakken oilfields.
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UNDATED (AP) – The U.S. has eased restrictions on travel from a long list of countries including Mexico, Canada and most of Europe, allowing tourists to make long-delayed trips and family members to reconnect with loved ones after more than a year and a half apart because of the pandemic. COVID-19 has upended lives in many ways including through restrictions on travel. That has been felt acutely by those living near U.S. borders, where traveling back and forth was a way of life. New rules went into effect Monday that allow nonessential travel across America’s land borders for vaccinated visitors. U.S. towns on both north and south borders are hoping Monday’s reopening will bring a flood of visitors to the businesses that rely on them.
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BOONE, N.C. (AP) – A spokesman for Franklin Graham says the evangelist underwent a specialized heart surgery to treat a condition which had developed in recent months. Mark Barber, a spokesman for North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse, said in a news release that Graham successfully underwent the procedure Monday at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The news release said that in recent months, the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham had developed constrictive pericarditis, inflammation, and hardening of the sac around the heart that compresses the heart and prevents it from working properly. The surgery involved removing the pericardium, and Graham’s doctors expect a full recovery.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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