After another overdose, trail leads Fargo police to suspected heroin dealers

FARGO -- The discovery of a Fargo man's overdose death on Saturday started investigators on a trail that led to charges being filed Monday against four individuals.

FARGO -- The discovery of a Fargo man's overdose death on Saturday started investigators on a trail that led to charges being filed Monday against four individuals.

That's according to documents filed in Cass County District Court in connection with the arrest Sunday of Reginald Washington, 24; Marcel Washington, 25; Jerrell Washington, 24, and Heather Rouzier, 30.

Fargo police were called to 1401 8th St. S. on Saturday on a report of an unresponsive male, the charges say. When they arrived, they discovered the body of Lucas Anderson, 26.

Anderson's death is the latest of three fatal overdoses in the area in recent weeks that authorities suspect may be linked to heroin tainted with a strong synthetic opiate. There have also been at least two non-fatal overdoses authorities feel could be tied to the same type of heroin.

The string of overdoses, and the four people arrested Sunday, prompted area police to hold a news conference Sunday warning the public of the dangers of heroin.


According to the court documents filed Monday:

Anderson's father told investigators his son used heroin, and police got a search warrant to pull information from Anderson's phone.

That led authorities to an informant, who arranged to buy heroin from Marcel Washington for Anderson, police allege.

By tracking Marcel Washington's phone, authorities found his pickup in the parking lot of a hotel, and the vehicle was placed under surveillance.

After officers observed three people leave the hotel and get into the truck, they made contact with the three and identified them as Marcel, Reginald and Jerrell Washington.

A search of the truck yielded a digital scale bearing white residue believed to be heroin, police allege.

Officers also found a clear plastic bag suspected of containing marijuana.

While investigators were dealing with the suspects, Reginald Washington spoke with a woman over the phone and told her to look out the window of the hotel room she was in.


Officers then went to the room and the woman inside, identified as Rouzier, let them in.

While in the room, an officer found a clear plastic bag suspected of containing heroin, police allege.

That led police to execute a search warrant at 4335 23rd Ave. S. in Fargo, where they seized a number of items, though court documents didn't specify what was found.

According to court documents, Jerrell Washington, Reginald Washington and Rouzier were charged with possession of heroin with intent to deliver or manufacture, a Class A felony, because the hotel room was registered to Jerrell Washington and because Reginald Washington and Rouzier both had property in the room where the suspected bag of heroin was found, police say.

Class A felonies can carry, upon conviction, a prison term of up to 20 years, though judges rarely impose the maximum sentence.

In addition, Jerrell Washington, Reginald Washington and Marcel Washington were charged with possessing drug paraphernalia -- a Class A misdemeanor -- and possessing marijuana -- a Class B misdemeanor--because police say the three were in the truck where the scale and a baggie of suspected marijuana were found.

Also, Marcel Washington and Reginald Washington face charges of giving false information to law enforcement -- a Class A misdemeanor -- for providing police with incorrect names, court documents say.

All four appeared in court Monday and remained in the Cass County Jail on Monday evening.


Bail for Reginald Washington and Jerrell Washington was set at $25,000 each, cash or bond.

Bail for Marcel Washington was set at $3,400, cash or bond, while bail for Rouzier was set at $10,000, cash or bond.

None of the charges filed Monday were linked to the overdose deaths directly. A phone message for the Cass County prosecutor handling the case wasn't returned Monday.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at
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