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Two more arrested in 'Operation Denial' fentanyl investigation

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Two more suspects have been arrested on federal charges as part "Operation Denial," an international drug investigation that was initiated following the January overdose death of a young man in Grand Forks.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Two more suspects have been arrested on federal charges as part "Operation Denial," an international drug investigation that was initiated following the January overdose death of a young man in Grand Forks.

Ronnie Lee Helms, 30, Ackworth, Georgia., and Braden James Foley, 28, Olympia, Washington, were enroute to North Dakota Thursday after being indicted last month in U.S. District Court in Fargo on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance and controlled substance resulting in serious bodily injury and death, U.S. Attorney Chris Myers said in a news release.

Bailey Henke, 18, Grand Forks died in January of an overdose of fentanyl citrate, a synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

To date, 12 defendants have been indicted in connection with the investigation, Myers said. Investigators have identified 12 victims, four of them who died from fatal overdoses.

"This remains a very active national and international investigation," Myers said. "Our multi-national investigative team is committed to identifying the full scope of harm caused by this international conspiracy. Those individuals responsible, whether in the United States or other countries, will be brought to North Dakota to face charges."

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The case is being investigated by multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

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