Editor's note: This story was originally published on March 30th, 2017.
The East Grand Forks Police Department on Thursday announced new arrests in an investigation by the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force and the Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force in northwest Minnesota following the discovery of more than 500 fentanyl-laced pills in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.
According to a news release, the Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force located a vehicle Tuesday in East Grand Forks matching the description of a previous tip about a heroin user. Officers discovered the driver slumped over in the passenger’s lap. Upon searching the vehicle, officers discovered several pills, described as blue in color and stamped with an “A 215” label, the release stated. Both occupants of the vehicle were arrested.
Officers found 160 additional pills Tuesday after searching the home of Tucker Christian Collings, 19, of Grand Forks.
During the search of Collings’ residence officers also found about 40 grams of marijuana wax. Collings, who police say admitted to selling pills to more than one person, has been charged with a Class A felony count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver for the pills and a Class B felony of the same offense for the marijuana wax.
He made an initial court appearance Thursday Morning in Grand Forks.
According to the news release, the investigation brought law enforcement back to East Grand Forks, where officers arrested resident Cody Allen Stengl as he left a residence. Additional marijuana wax, more than 4 pounds of marijuana and 200 more blue pills were found at Stengl’s parents’ residence in the execution of a search warrant, the release stated.
Law enforcement also arrested Benjamin David Gottberg, 19, and Ryan Powell, 20, both of East Grand Forks, who were seen leaving the same residence, according to the news release. Powell is identified as Robert John Benson Powell in the booking report of the Northwest Region Corrections Center in Crookston. During a consent search of the residence, officers found an SKS rifle, more marijuana and an additional 109 blue pills.
All the pills were analyzed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Forensics lab, which determined they contained fentanyl. The website Drugs.com has identified blue pills stamped with “A 215” as 30-milligram oxycodone tablets.
Gottberg, Stengl, Powell, Joel Anthony Ryan, 22, of East Grand Forks and Leah Anne Sourdif, 20, of East Grand Forks, made court appearances in Polk County in connection with the investigation.