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Feds indict 27 in Twin Ports for drugs

The U.S. Attorney's office in Minneapolis announced today that 27 people have been indicted on federal charges of distributing drugs in the Twin Ports -- including oxycodone, hydromorphone and heroin.

The indictment, filed Sept. 20 and unsealed late Wednesday, follows the appearance of 25 of the defendants in federal court in Minneapolis. Eleven of the defendants remain in custody.

Those charged include Daniel Albert Amatuzio, 23; Kyle Richard Bergman, 22; Jeffrey James Boshey, 34; Brad Rodney Christofferson, 22; Rhonda Ann Davis, 24; Ryan James Drickhamer, 22; Brian Troy Eastlick, 22; Zachary John Hamel, 20; Justin Paul Johnson, 20; Rindi Kay Koenen, 19; Jacob Keith Nagle, 23; Eric Phillip Romero, 43; Sean Patrick Saylor, 18; Gordon Eugene Sharp, 23; Caine Ramus Starks, 29; Daniel Allen Stenzel, 23; and Nicholas Zane Worley, 23, all of Duluth; Dillon Phillip Beyers, 20; Jeffrey Lamont Liddell, 27; Veronique Zsazsaantique Muckle, 21; Brian Keith Portis, 21; Cletis Bernarnd Portis, 31; and Angelique Michelle Vos, 22, all of Superior; Lawrence Lalonde Colton, 42, of Detroit; Johnnie Lee Leddell, 30, of Brooklyn Park, Minn.; Ian Philip Stauber, 23, of Hermantown; and Krystal Lynn Willis, 25, of Esko.

The indictment alleges that the suspects conspired with each other and other people to distribute the drugs which are powerful painkillers or narcotics, according to a statement by B. Todd Jones, the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota.

Several of the defendants also were charged with possession with intent do distribute drugs.

Authorities began investigating the group in 2010 after local law enforcement noted an increase in drug trafficking in the area, especially the drug Opana, which contains oxymorphone. Officers conducted dozens of controlled purchases and investigations before the arrests.

In addition to the indictments, officers on Tuesday executed search warrants at nine properties where they seized firearms, narcotics and $30,000 in cash.

Each defendant faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each charge.

The Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force, Duluth Police Department, Hermantown Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation.