Four women face federal charges for allegedly distributing drugs in Twin PortsFour women have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to distribute drugs, including oxycodone, oxymorphone and heroin, in the Duluth-Superior area.
By: Associated Press report, Associated Press
Four women have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to distribute drugs, including oxycodone, oxymorphone and heroin, in the Duluth-Superior area.
Twenty-five co-conspirators have already pleaded guilty to roles in the operation, and seven of them have been sentenced. A jury trial is scheduled for one co-conspirator next month.
The indictment charges Taylor Kay Hanson, 21; Talia Jackie Jaros, 20; Danielle Ann Lamberton, 24; and Elizabeth Rose Schlais, 20, with one count each of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Authorities say they have no known addresses for any of the women.
The indictment, which was filed in federal district court in Minneapolis on Monday, was unsealed today following the defendants’ initial court appearances.
According to the indictment, from 2010 through September 2011, the women conspired with each other and others to distribute the controlled substances. They also allegedly conspired to conduct financial transactions involving their drug trafficking proceeds. Specifically, the indictment alleges they wire-transferred money to other co-conspirators.
Authorities began investigating the group in 2010, after law enforcement noted an increase in Opana trafficking in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Opana contains the controlled substance oxymorphone. Investigators conducted surveillance and dozens of controlled purchases before making any arrests. On Sept. 27, 2011, law enforcement also executed search warrants at nine properties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, where authorities seized firearms, ammunition, about $30,000 and narcotics.
If convicted, the defendants face a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each charge. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force, the Duluth Police Department, the Hermantown Police Department, the Superior Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen A. Slaughter.