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Safer streets, life in prison, compliance


Activity, but streets remain relatively safe

There were 117 calls for service to the West Fargo Police Department during this past weekend; five outstanding warrants were served; one juvenile was taken into custody; and not one person was taken in for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or being in possession of narcotics or illegal firearms.


Two sentenced to life in prison

Francisca Avila Vargas, a.k.a. Poncha, a.k.a. Mama, of St. Paul and Ada, Minn., and Miguel Garcia, a.k.a. Michael Garcia of Perley, Minn., were sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson to life imprisonment without parole for their roles in a drug distribution ring in the Red River Valley.

Avila Vargas, 45, was found guilty by a federal jury on May 23, 2006, of conspiring to distribute controlled substances and operating a continuing criminal enterprise. She was the leader of an organization out of St. Paul that supplied over 30 pounds of methamphetamine to the McCracken organization in Fargo and other distributors in Ada and Crookston between the years 2002 and 2005.

Garcia, 34, was found guilty on May 23, 2006, for his role as a distributor in the Avila Vargas organization. He has two prior felony drug convictions in Clay County.

The case was investigated by a number of agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration; bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead Police departments, and Cass and Clay County Sheriff's Offices.


All pass alcohol compliance checks

The West Fargo Police Department, Fargo Police Department, Moorhead Police Department and Cass and Clay County Sheriff's Offices with the assistance of the Safe Communities Coalition conducted alcohol compliance checks in Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Cass and Clay County, and the passing establishments in West Fargo were Ruby Tuesday, Littlefield's, Bernie's West and Town Hall Bar.