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Two arrested, a third sought for heroin overdoses, Chicago-based gang known for selling ‘China White’

WILLISTON -- Two men have been arrested and authorities are searching for a third in connection with a series of heroin overdoses in Williston earlier this month.

WILLISTON - Two men have been arrested and authorities are searching for a third in connection with a series of heroin overdoses in Williston earlier this month.

North Dakota investigators tracked down the three suspects using a variety of leads, tracing the men to  an alleged local drug operation known for selling “China White,” a pure form of heroin often mixed with other powerful substances, including the painkiller fentanyl.

Timothy Amundson, 31, and Sylvester McCurry, 21, of Chicago, are charged with conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, a Class AA felony which carries a potential life sentence. Jamelle Edwards, 22, of Chicago, is wanted by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation on the same allegation.

Another man, Tanner Nielsen, 22, of Williston, who has been behind bars in the Williams County Correctional Center since November on separate drug accusations, was charged with conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance as well, for his alleged role in the Chicago-based heroin selling ring.

Records show that Amundson and McCurry were arrested on Monday, and charges were filed in district court on Wednesday.

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The two men allegedly sold drugs to victims in the string of 10 overdoses that killed one man and sent nine other people to the hospital.

The victims, ages 25 to 45, were found in homes, motels and cars across Williston over an eight-day span.

The heroin they’d injected caused immediate unconsciousness, police said.

Text messages found by police on Amundson’s phone allegedly refer to the drugs he was selling at the time as extremely potent, and indicated that he knew they were laced with another substance, according to court records.

Investigators pinpointed McCurry, allegedly a member of the Vice Lords gang in Chicago, as Amundson’s main source of heroin, and allege that Nielsen had close ties with him as well.

Amundson and Nielsen are being held on $250,000 bond, while McCurry’s is set at $500,000.

Amundson is due back in court March 3, and McCurry on March 17 for preliminary hearings. No date has been scheduled yet for Nielsen’s hearing.

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