On September 29, 2020, agents of the Southwest Narcotics Task Force assisted the Belfield Police Department and the Stark County Sheriff’s Office in the apprehension of two individuals who were later charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to authorities, the confiscation of a substance presumed to be heroin had a street value of approximately $30,000.
Arrested in the joint-operation was Joshua Newlin, 40, of Dickinson, ND, who was wanted by the US Marshals Service on a federal arrest warrant and Marcie Jensen, 41, of Belfield, ND. The operation netted the alleged drugs, as well as numerous weapons.
Charges were filed on Newlin and Jensen with the Stark County State’s Attorney’s Office for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Officers from North Dakota Parole and Probation with agents of the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation assisted in the operation.
“Area law enforcement remains committed to the mission of working together with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners along with our community to protect our area from the dangers of illicit drugs and the crimes associated with the trafficking, sale and use of them,” Corey Lee, Stark County Sheriff, said. "It is situations such as this that show what we can accomplish when our agencies work together, especially in our battle against illicit and dangerous narcotics in our communities."
Lee added, "We will keep consistent pressure on individuals such as these and we will continue to make narcotics enforcement and deterrence a top priority in Stark County and southwest North Dakota. A well deserved kudos goes out to the officers and deputies that participated in these arrests."
Newlin's criminal history indicates multiple arrests for possession of controlled substances, including past arrests for methamphetamine possession; carrying concealed firearm; false reports to law enforcement and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to court records, Newlin's criminal history dates back to 2013.
Jensen does not have a prior criminal history, according to public court records.
The partnership between the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and other surrounding southwest North Dakota law enforcement agencies allows for the staffing and support of a narcotics task force aimed at combating drug trafficking and related crimes on the Western Edge.
Together, agents forming the Southwest Narcotics Task Force routinely conduct counter-drug operations with agents specially trained in surveillance tactics, informant development, human trafficking recognition and other skill-sets often accompany the drug trade. The task force initiated 137 cases in 2019, seizing more than 600 grams of methamphetamines and 270 fentanyl seizures.
The Southwest Narcotics Task Force is composed of agents assigned from Dickinson Police Department, Dunn County Sheriff's Office, Hettinger County Sheriff’s Office, Stark County Sheriff’s Office and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
The SWNTF mission is joint-funded by the cities of Belfield, Dickinson and Medora; the counties of Adams, Billings, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger, Slope and Stark; and the State of North Dakota.