Archived Story

More details released in drug sting [UPDATED]

Published 11:19am Thursday, May 5, 2011 Updated 10:28am Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Operation: Spring Cleanup drug bust project was a wide-ranging operation that dealt with several different kinds of drugs and revealed networks of Fergus Falls drug dealers that allegedly worked together to provide interested buyers with contraband, according to court documents on 16 dealers picked up in arrests on Monday and Tuesday (an additional juvenile was also arrested).


To gather evidence, police officers and sheriff’s deputies set up a number of “controlled buys” between confidential informants and the dealers, most of whom live in or around the Fergus Falls city limits.

The operation was not cheap. Over $6,000 was spent on drug deals between the end of February and mid-April, netting officers 53 grams of cocaine, 17 grams of meth, 14 ecstasy tablets, 82 prescription pills and over 182 grams of marijuana. Drugs were not seized during arrests and search warrants. As a reference point, a gram is about the size of an individual sugar packet. Police said typical recreational drug users often use half a gram of drugs like meth, cocaine or marijuana in a day.

The informants often recorded their conversations with dealers to use as evidence. The dealers made transactions in a variety of residences and met with informants in a variety of locations around town, including the Walmart and YMCA parking lots and several gas stations.

Over 30 felony drug sale charges have been filed so far. The defendants range in age from 17 to 58.

Higgins III

The two men with the most charges are William Ronald Stoops, 37, and George Earl Higgins III, 58, both of Fergus Falls. Stoops has been charged with two counts of first degree drug sales, one count of second degree sale and three counts of fifth degree sales. He is alleged to have sold or been involved in the sale of 22.4 grams of marijuana and 12.5 grams of cocaine in controlled buys between Feb. 27 and April 17. At one point, documents state, police followed Stoops and others to an apartment in Fargo, where he obtained more cocaine to sell in Fergus Falls. During a conversation with an informant, Stoops allegedly said that he buys marijuana in Moorhead and brings it to Fergus Falls to sell at a higher price.

Higgins has been charged with three counts of fifth degree drug sales, one count of second degree sale and one count of fourth degree sale. He is alleged to have sold or been involved in the sale of various amounts of meth, marijuana and morphine pills in March and April. Higgins allegedly identified himself as “Big Red” during drug deals, and at one point hooked up an informant with another dealer, Anthony Williams, who went by the street name “Pretty Tony.”

Another man, Robert Higgins, 38, has been charged with two counts of fifth degree drug sales. During one deal, he allegedly sold an informant some marijuana in front of his own 3-year-old daughter. It is not known by police if Robert Higgins is related to George.

There were several connections between many of the dealers. Higgins and Stoops often allegedly worked with other dealers, acting as facilitators between the informants and others with drugs. Two others, Tereasa and Desmond Patterson, 24 and 28, respectively, allegedly worked together as a husband and wife team to sell cocaine, with Charles Helps sometimes stepping in to assist.

Other alleged dealers charged with crimes include Calvin Leland Bengston, 49; Jabari Khyle Bishop, 19; Michael Duane Iverson, 20; Anthony Williams, 41; Matthew John Smith-Delong, 25; Amanda Clair Guerra, 26; William Bernard Berry Jr., 18; Scott Connary Bartel, 19; Benjamin James Delong, 19; Ivory Delano Amerson, 32; and Daniel Martinez, 34; and a 17-year-old juvenile. All of the defendants are from Fergus Falls except for Martinez, who is from Pelican Rapids, and Amerson, who has a Rochester address. Initial police statements misreported the number of dealers arrested as 19.

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  • BWD

    Why are we not seeing the other people arrested in this sting? All of their mug shots should be printed in the Print Edition and published here in the Online Version.

    Show us all who these Drug Dealers are and what they look like!

  • mgs1170
  • ackerjohnson

    Gee, if I’d seen these dudes on the street, I never would have guessed they were dopers. Strange, huh?

  • Concerned Constitutionalist

    Gee Acker, that kinda sounds like profiling…….. I thought you were better than those “crazy” right wing repubs.

    • medlynn

      Do you guys actually look at this group of ‘citizens’ and then whine about ‘profiling’. If you don’t want to be profiled quit wearing your jeans below your crack, shave, get a hair cut and buy a few clean shirts at Wal-Mart (if that’s all there is).
      There is a reason why they call this kind of ‘dress’and/or appearance– jailin’.

      • Concerned Constitutionalist

        I must be mistaken when appearances warrant judgment. But this is fergus falls. by no means am I defending the guilty but I have a feeling your rational is the reason why fergus is a dieing town. We are not tolerant of other cultures or opinions. We do not have to agree with them but to profile someone as a druggie because of long hair or facial hair or tattoos is completely incorrect. I was also being sarcastic to Acker, I have not agreed with one word he has every typed on this online new paper.

        • Vitojr130

          Common Sense, I have no idea who you are, but you are very correct. The ignorant in Fergus are the reason only a very slim few stay after graduation. They are very intolerant of other cultures and opinions and that is why a majority of people I knew got out of there as fast as they could. It is a dieing town. People complain about the building of a hockey arena, but be realistic and tell me how much stuff is there really in Fergus that people of all ages could truly enjoy? You might say, “There are plenty of ice rinks around town! That should be good enough!” and I’m sure if you are saying that, then you have never been skating on these ice rinks. The ice sheets are a hazard. I have seen too many people get injured from rotten and poorly maintained ice. I have a feeling that you elders in Fergus would be very surprised at just how many people use drugs in Fergus. In high school, I would say that about 60% of the people in my class smoked weed a few times and about half of those smoked it on a regular basis. Wake up Fergus! There isn’t much to do in this town unless you like hunting and fishing or are over the age of 21! Perhaps that is why there are people turning to drugs! And then instead of understanding why there are so many drug dealers (because there is definitely the market and there are DEFINITELY way more dealers in Fergus that haven’t been caught), people just sit there and chastise these folks. Well, instead of goggling at their mug shots, do something about it! If there isn’t a market for drugs, there won’t be drug dealers! Unless that changes, there will ALWAYS be drug dealers in Fergus. Come on people! Get a clue here!

  • BWD

    I don’t want to see all the others.

    I just want the doper dealers to have all their mugs published in the paper for all to see.

    But, I suppose the goody-two shoe Judges will just slap some probation and let them out to push their dope on the street until sentencing to the half/way house on Union, like they always do.

    In 3 months these B#@$T%&Ds will be right back in our community stealing others souls and spirits with their junk.

  • Mr_Lincoln

    we will teach them a leson and give them 90 days in jail and 30 will be stayed.our prosecuting attorney give every one slaps on the wrist.


    I like the idea of publishing the photos of convicted dealers in the paper, this BS of posting pics of the accused goes against our entire “innocent until proven guilty” rights.
    a probable side affect of posting their pics is that it’s like free advertising to potential customers when they get out, or so my ex who was a drug addict used to confide in me…

  • Just Some Dude

    Do you guys remember when the cops in this town were cool with that bryan guy slingin dope out of the sandpiper as long as they got a cut? Funny how fast moral decency crumbles away when the smell of free money is in the air. Remember how he was arrogant and had too big of an ego, THEN they shut him down? Nobody seemed to mind hells angels runnin dope thru that radiator shop when everyone was getting rich off it. You slags make me sick. What about the video of the female cop dancing naked on the table for coke?

    I’ve seen fergus cops at perkins at 3 in the morning pretending to eat. All jittery jaw and darty eyes. Think I dont know whats going on bud? The whole system is trash. You pricks with the badges are just as dirty as the rest of us. At least I dont walk around pretending to be a champion of justice and moral rightness.

    • dr.walleye

      dude, just say no, man. you are waaaaay out there. i know alot of the cops and NOT ONE does or acts the way you say. just for the record, i dont like all of them that i know, but you are out of line….dude

  • Just Some Dude

    whatever you want to believe is cool with me. Stay blind if you wish. Ask some of your cop friends about the otter tail county posse. Ask them about hells angels a few years back runnin dope thru a radiator shop with motorcycles. Ask them about the kickbacks the city was taking on that deal. Ask them about all the rival dealers who got given up to and sniped off by the cops in exchange for the peace of running the dope ring here. Seriously if you had ever gone to the sandpiper you’d see what was up. Hell you can ask some of the former dealers. They work at Northern Contours white plant.

    You’re blind to the underworld of this city and thats fine but don’t pretend your boys in blue with their shiny tin stars and department issue 9mms are all squeaky clean. Because they’re not.

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