Drug dealing suspects connected in court documents

GRAND FORKS--Federal court documents show six people with ties to Grand Forks face meth trafficking charges for selling the drug throughout North Dakota and Minnesota.

GRAND FORKS-Federal court documents show six people with ties to Grand Forks face meth trafficking charges for selling the drug throughout North Dakota and Minnesota.

One of the men, 38-year-old Tyson Bartholomew Trotter, was convicted by a jury earlier this year in Fargo's federal court. Two more are set to enter guilty pleas this summer.

A check of court documents and the public docket this week shows the criminal cases against alleged drug dealers continue to move through the court system on charges of conspiracy to sell illegal drugs.

The federal prosecutor handling some of the cases, Brett Shasky, said the cases represent a drug trafficking network in which the charges are related.

John Lewis Dheilly, 45, Grand Forks, and Trotter both were indicted last December for conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of meth starting in 2012. Federal prosecutors also lodged a second similar charge against Dheilly.


Prior to Trotter's trial in March, 34-year-old Kendall Scott Feist of Bismarck pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to sell meth and is scheduled for sentencing June 24.

"Feist is a pretty big player," said Shasky, who declined to provide specifics since officers continue to investigate the scope of trafficking in the region.

Last June, police arrested Feist after he led officers on a high-speed chase through a busy Moorhead, Minn., golf course and neighboring yards. Video footage of the chase garnered national media attention as golfers scrambled to get out of the path of pickup truck chased by police cruisers at the Village Green Golf Course. The chase prompted the discipline of four officers, three of whom were suspended without pay.

At the time, Feist, who has numerous convictions in Grand Forks County, was wanted on suspicion of drug and stolen property charges stemming from the arrest of another man in Grafton, N.D., a few days earlier.

Prosecutors listed Feist as a witness for Trotter's trial but didn't call him to testify. Seven members of a Grand Forks narcotics task force also were listed as witnesses against Trotter.

Jurors convicted Trotter, who filed a motion in April to ask the presiding judge to acquit him of the verdict. U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson rejected arguments.

Trotter had been scheduled for sentencing Thursday, but the hearing has been delayed to July 24. Dheilly, the co-defendant in that case, is scheduled to enter a guilty plea during a June 22 hearing.

For his part, Trotter faces a minimum 20-year sentence, an upward departure from the federal guideline based on his criminal background.


Defense attorney John Conard, who works for a Woodbury, Minn., law firm, argues in a motion filed with the court that Trotter should receive the standard sentence of 151 to 181 months because he "had few opportunities for positive development as a young boy, losing his father and role model at a very young age. His mother went on to wed an abusive, alcoholic and drug addicted man."

In addition, Conard wrote Trotter's mother committed suicide when he was 14, and he "shuffled around the foster care system until his extended family brought him to the Midwest."

Further, Conard wrote Trotter is a caring father and a reliable employee.

Court documents also show four defendants, including one unnamed, face charges in another drug trafficking conspiracy, although the indictment is not yet publicly available. Three men--Christopher Glen Brickzin, 35; Ryan Tristen Stockley Brown; and Dustin Lee Hart, 34, were arrested March 23 in Grand Forks. On Wednesday, Hart filed notice that he intends to plead guilty in the case.

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