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Two plead guilty in federal drug case linked to murder at Grand Forks gas station

FARGO--Two suspects in a federal drug case related to the shooting death of a man at a Grand Forks truck stop have pleaded guilty, with two more expected to follow suit.

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Andrew Wiley

FARGO-Two suspects in a federal drug case related to the shooting death of a man at a Grand Forks truck stop have pleaded guilty, with two more expected to follow suit.

Aaron Lee Morado, 27, and Christopher Alan Anderson, 37, pleaded guilty Wednesday and Friday, respectively, in federal court for their involvement in trafficking more than 500 grams of methamphetamine in North Dakota and Minnesota. Morado's sentencing hearing is Nov. 28. Anderson will be sentenced Nov. 30.

Andrew Robert Wiley, 26, and Walter Joseph Ganyo, 35, signed plea agreements in late August on similar charges, though change of plea hearings had not been set as of Saturday.

Court documents detail the four men's involvement in concealing their attempts to traffick meth across state lines and how they used U.S. currency for dealing the drug. The plea agreements for Morado, Anderson and Wiley also allege they were involved in using threats and violence to further their drug conspiracy.

The acts of violence included the March 11 shooting death of Grand Forks resident Austin B. Forsman, 24, at the Flying J truck stop at 4401 32nd Ave. S., according to the documents.

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The four men faced life in prison with a minimum 10-year sentence, as well as $10 million in fines. Court documents indicated the prison terms for all men will be at the low end of sentencing guides.

Thirteen suspects in total have been federally charged in the multistate drug conspiracy case, including Krystal Lynn Feist, 31, and Modesto Alfredo Torrez, 34. Both face charges of death caused by use of a firearm during a crime of violence, murder in furtherance of a drug trafficking conspiracy and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance. Though investigators said Feist "pulled the trigger" and killed Forsman, Torrez "greenlighted and ordered the murder," prosecutors said.

Other defendants in the case include Ryan Scott Franklin, Vaughn Michael Scott, Andrew Neil Hills, Darla Kay Jerome, Lorie Ortiz and Christopher Ryan Ringsrud-Knowles.

The remaining nine defendants are scheduled to go to trial Oct. 18.

Related Topics: CRIME
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