23-year-old fugitive apprehended in Burleigh County

Darnell Morgan was arrested in Bismarck this week, and has new criminal charges pending in Burleigh County.

Darnell Morgan, pictured above, is now in custody in Burleigh County following a Nov. 17 arrest by the Bismarck Police Department and now faces new felonious charges. Morgan failed to appear for his Nov. 2 sentencing at Stark County District Court and had a bench warrant out for his arrest. (Photo courtesy of Southwest Multi-County Correction Center)

The search for 23-year-old Darnell Morgan has concluded. Morgan, who failed to show up for his Nov. 2 sentencing at the Stark County District Court, now faces new felonious charges including possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

On Nov. 18, Morgan pled guilty in Burleigh County District Court. Morgan was arrested on Nov. 17 in Burleigh County by the Bismarck Police Department for possession of “namely 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine” and the possession of a firearm “in his immediate reach or control.” The first count has a minimum/mandatory of four years incarceration. The second count — possession of drug paraphernalia — carries a minimum/mandatory of two years incarceration. The third count refers to his possession of a controlled substance, namely heroin, and is a class A misdemeanor.

On Nov. 17, a search warrant was executed by the Bismarck Police Department and officers made contact with Morgan inside the residence. Officers found a bag of methamphetamine in a backpack in the living room of 57 grams.

“From training and experience, I know that 57 grams of methamphetamine is consistent with the sale of methamphetamine as a typical drug user will not possess more than a few grams at a time,” Detective Joseph Olsen of the Bismarck Police Department stated in court documents.

Officers also located 1 gram of heroin in the backpack, a Ruger mini-14 rifle in one of the bedrooms, 27 .223 rounds for the rifle and two separate digital scales — with one of the scales appearing to have white residue representing methamphetamine.


At some point, Morgan will eventually be extradited back to the Stark County District Court, where he awaits sentencing for multiple felonies. These include: possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, possession of a firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a short-barreled shotgun and conspiracy to commit child endangerment. The defendant faces a significant time in the North Dakota Department of Correction for crimes stemming from a 2019 arrest, in which he pled guilty to in January.

Assistant State’s Attorney Amanda Engelstad previously stated in a Press article that Morgan was originally held on a $50,000 cash bond and was incarcerated at the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center until Aug. 10, at which point his bond conditions were amended and he was released with the promise to appear in court.

“I’m happy that he is back in custody and we will attempt to resolve the Stark County cases as appropriate in light of the new arrest and information that have been provided to us,” Engelstad said.

Morgan is currently being held in Burleigh County on a $100,000 cash bond and awaits his scheduled preliminary hearing and/or arraignment on Dec. 21.

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
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