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Parents of NDSCS student who died from gunshot after informant work want FBI to take over case

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Tammy and John Sadek, left, listen as their attorney, Lance Block, talks about the family's unsuccessful efforts to get updates from angencies investigating the death of their son, Andrew. Dave Olson / The Forum2 / 3
Andrew Sadek3 / 3

FARGO – The parents of a North Dakota State College of Science student found dead of a gunshot after working as an undercover drug informant want the FBI to take over the investigation.


Andrew Sadek, a 20-year-old student at the Wahpeton community college, was a drug informant before he went missing in May 2014. About two months later, his body was found in the Red River near Wahpeton with a gunshot to his head.

His parents, Tammy and John Sadek, who live in Rogers, have said they believe their son was murdered, possibly because of his work as an informant. However, autopsy results offered no conclusion on whether someone killed him or whether he killed himself.

“He loved life, he loved his family. There’s just no way he killed himself,” John Sadek said during a press conference held Friday morning, April 15, in Fargo.

Tammy Sadek agreed.

“I don’t believe that he did this to himself,” she said, referring to her son, whom she said showed no signs of depression before he disappeared.

The Sadeks have retained a Florida attorney who specializes in cases involving young drug informants, Lance Block, who was at the press conference with other attorneys representing the family.

Sadek’s parents say they haven’t received any updates on the investigation from local law enforcement since last year, though they continue to provide investigators with tips. They think they’re being stonewalled by investigators.

The case is being investigated by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, NDSCS police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The Minnesota agency is involved because Andrew Sadek’s body was found on the Minnesota side of the Red River.

Block said the Sadeks are sending letters to all of the local and state agencies involved, as well as to the director of the FBI, James Comey, and to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting that federal authorities take over the investigation.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, there hasn’t been any update,” said Block, who has represented the families of a number of young people around the country who died after becoming confidential drug informants for police.

“The only thing I’ve been able to obtain from law enforcement is Andrew’s confidential informant packet,” Block said, adding that after almost two years it’s time for the people of North Dakota and Minnesota to get answers to the case.

And for the Sadeks, he said, “There’s no way they can begin to start the grieving process until they know what happened to their son.”

In April 2013, Sadek was allegedly caught selling small amounts of marijuana twice to another informant on the NDSCS campus. The sales totaled $80; one exchange involved 2.2 grams and the other 1.1 grams, according to court papers.

After being told he could face felony drug charges and a sentence of up to 40 years in prison if he didn’t cooperate with the local drug task force, Sadek agreed to become an informant.

As an informant, Sadek bought marijuana three times between November 2013 and January 2014. Then he stopped contacting the task force. He had at least two more drug buys left before the threat of charges would go away, authorities said.

Tammy Sadek has accused the task force of bullying her son into working as an informant. The North Dakota Attorney General’s Office reviewed the task force’s handling of the case and found no wrongdoing. Sadek’s mother is now pushing for a state law that would restrict the use of college students as informants.

The case has attracted some national attention. It was featured on an episode of “60 Minutes” earlier this year.