NATIONAL NEWS

2 siblings are sentenced in a North Dakota fentanyl probe. 5 fugitives remain

Sep 8, 2023, 1:19 PM

FILE - The federal courthouse stands in Fargo, N.D., June 19, 2023. A pair of siblings sentenced in...

FILE - The federal courthouse stands in Fargo, N.D., June 19, 2023. A pair of siblings sentenced in federal court this week are among the last of those indicted for trafficking fentanyl from China to the U.S. and Canada, prosecutors say. U.S. Chief District Judge Peter Welte sentenced Marie Um, 42, and Vannek Um, 45, both of Montreal this week. (AP Photo/Jack Dura, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Jack Dura, File)

Two siblings were sentenced in federal court this week for their part in a sprawling operation that prosecutors say trafficked fentanyl from China to the U.S. and Canada, some of the last cases stemming from an investigation into the overdose death of an 18-year-old in North Dakota.

U.S. Chief District Judge Peter Welte sentenced Marie Um, 42, to 23 years in prison and Vannek Um, 45, to four. Both siblings, who are from Montreal, received credit for time served.

A jury earlier this year convicted Marie Um of drug-related and money laundering conspiracy charges. She was extradited from Canada to the U.S. in 2021. The jury also found that nine overdoses, including four deaths, in New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota and Oregon “were reasonably foreseeable to her,” according to federal prosecutors in North Dakota.

Vannek Um, sentenced Friday, pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy in March.

The two are among more than 30 people charged in North Dakota and Oregon in connection with “Operation Denial,” the investigation begun in North Dakota in January 2015 following the overdose death of Bailey Henke, 18, of Grand Forks. Other sentences have included decades in federal prison.

The Ums are the last to be sentenced; five fugitives remain, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Terry Van Horn confirmed to The Associated Press.

The U.S. State Department is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Jian Zhang, a fugitive in the investigation. Authorities also are seeking four other Chinese fugitives.

National News

Associated Press

Las Vegas shooting survivors alarmed at US Supreme Court’s strike down of ban on rifle bump stocks

Survivors of the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas and families who received somber calls from police hours later said they were alarmed when the U.S. Supreme Court Friday struck down a ban on the gun attachment used by the shooter who rattled off over 1,000 bullets into a crowd of thousands in 11 minutes. […]

5 minutes ago

Associated Press

Prosecutor says ATF agent justified in fatal shooting of Little Rock airport director during raid

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas prosecutor on Friday said a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent was justified when he fatally shot the Little Rock airport director during a raid at his house in March. Pulaski County Prosecutor Will Jones said in a letter to ATF that no charges in the […]

14 minutes ago

Associated Press

Dogs’ digs at the Garden: Westminster show returning to Madison Square Garden next year

NEW YORK (AP) — Madison Square Garden is going back to the dogs. The Westminster Kennel Club announced this week that its storied dog show is returning next year to the Manhattan arena for the first time since 2020. That year’s show was held weeks before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and shutdowns began in […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Trooper with checkered FBI past convicted of child rape in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former FBI agent was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl while serving as an Alabama state trooper — a law enforcement job he landed even after he was kicked out of the FBI amid earlier claims that he raped a co-worker at knifepoint. Christopher Bauer’s case, first detailed […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Reacting to Supreme Court ruling, governor wrongly says Buffalo supermarket killer used bump stock

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Around an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a ban on bump stocks, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul wrongly said a gunman who carried out a racist massacre in her hometown of Buffalo had used the gun accessory that can allow semiautomatic rifles to shoot as fast as a machine […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Kansas governor and GOP leaders say they have a deal on tax cuts to end 2 years of stalemate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ Democratic governor and top Republican lawmakers say they have an agreement on a package of broad tax cuts, potentially ending a two-year political standoff that has prevented their state from following others in making big reductions. The deal announced late Thursday by Gov. Laura Kelly and GOP leaders would save […]

4 hours ago

2 siblings are sentenced in a North Dakota fentanyl probe. 5 fugitives remain