Six men allegedly involved in a central Minnesota methamphetamine distribution ring were indicted June 6 by a federal grand Jury.
Kevin Michael Camacho, 27, from Pine River was among them.
The men were charged with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.
Those named in the indictment also included Glen Forehand, 31, from Hawley; Jeremy Leroy Berndt, 22, from Hewitt; Anthony James Richard Jantz, 23, from Menahga; Leonard Joseph Smith, 25, from Ponsford and Christopher Joseph Tigges, 21, from Wadena.
In addition to the conspiracy charge, Forehand, Berndt and Smith were each charged with possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, Smith was stopped by a Minnesota Highway Patrol trooper for speeding on March 2. The trooper arrested Smith after learning he was driving without insurance and after revocation of his license. A subsequent search of Smith's vehicle yielded in excess of 50 grams of meth, more than 100 grams of marijuana, over $1,000 in U.S. currency and two handguns, one of which was confirmed stolen.
The investigation into the meth ring culminated with the execution of seven state search warrants on homes in central Minnesota. A search of Berndt's Hewitt residence resulted in the seizure of approximately 100 grams of meth, three pounds of marijuana, $7,500 in U.S. currency, handguns and rifles, including a Ruger 10-22 rifle reported stolen in Hubbard County in January 2006. A search of Smith's Ponsford residence yielded drug ledgers, ammunition and a shotgun. Searches also resulted in the seizure of $66,000 in U.S. currency from Forehand's residence; $7,785 in U.S. currency from a Wadena house where Tigges was present; and a drug ledger and a gram scale from Camacho's residence in Pine River. According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, search warrants were also executed at another Wadena house as well as a house in Staples.
If convicted, the defendants each face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison for conspiracy. In addition, Forehand, Berndt and Smith each face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison for possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. Any sentences will be determined by a judge.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, which is comprised of the Project Safe Neighborhood Task Force; the Weed and Seed Task Force; the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force; the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; the Mahnomen County Sheriff's Office; the Itasca County Sheriff's Office; the White Earth Tribal Police Department; the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, firearms and Explosives; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Minnesota State Highway Patrol, Todd County Sheriff's Office, Wadena County Sheriff's Office, Otter tail County Sheriff's Office, Becker County Sheriff's Office and the West Central Minnesota Drug Task Force provided substantial investigation assistance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Clifford B. Wardlaw.
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