41 indicted in alleged heroin ring on reservations

Published 9:52 am Friday, May 29, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — Federal and tribal law enforcement authorities said Thursday they’ve taken down an interstate drug trafficking ring that was the largest source of heroin on two Minnesota American Indian reservations.

The 41 defendants named in the indictment unsealed Wednesday face charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin and other drugs. Several also face firearms charges.

U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said at a news conference Thursday that the ring was led by 37-year-old Omar Sharif Beasley. The arrests have shut down a major pipeline that spread heroin across the Red Lake and White Earth reservations, as well as Native American communities in North Dakota, Luger said.

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“We didn’t want to just take down the head of the organization or the people bringing the heroin into the state of Minnesota,” Luger said. “We wanted to make it as difficult as possible for somebody to come in and pick up where this organization left off.”