41 heroin traffickers inflicted 'collateral damage' on Minn. tribal lands

Forty-one members of a heroin trafficking conspiracy targeting Indian reservations in Minnesota and other Midwest states were indicted on Thursday and charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, and methadone, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced.

According to the indictment and court documents, from about April 2014 to April 2015, ringleader Omar Sharif Beasley, 37, 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.

"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."

Charges add Beasley traveled from Minneapolis to Red Lake, White Earth and North Dakota to provide drugs to co-conspirators, then return to major cities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan to replenish the supply of drugs to bring into "Indian Country."

"The indictment of the Beasley drug trafficking organization is emblematic of our commitment to combatting heroin trafficking in Minnesota," Luger said. "These defendants, led by Omar Beasley, represented the most significant source of heroin in Indian Country. 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."

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