FARGO -- For the first time, an investigation in North Dakota has won a prestigious national Drug Enforcement Agency honor.
U.S. Attorney for North Dakota Christopher Myers announced that on Wednesday, July 18, acting DEA administrator Uttam Dhillon recognized a team of investigators and prosecutors with the “Administrator’s Award for Outstanding Group Achievement” at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The group was recognized for their teamwork in investigating a trans-national opiate trafficking organization, beginning Jan. 3, 2015, with the overdose death of Grand Forks 18-year-old Bailey Henke. To date, 32 defendants worldwide have been charged as a result of the investigation into international trafficking of fentanyl and other lethal drugs.
The case grew to eventually involve the federal Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force, whose main purpose is to disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
The groups involved included several national agencies, as well as the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force, Grand Forks police, Portland (Oregon) police and drug task force and the Oregon State Police.
Myers and Assistant U.S. Attorney for Oregon Scott Kerin are prosecuting most of the cases.