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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Last of more than 60 sentenced in Operation Speed Racer

  • Last defendant gets 10 years.


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  • FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The last of more than 60 people charged in a major federal drug conspiracy case has been sentenced in Fargo.
       
    Louis Lopez was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
       
    Prosecutor Chris Myers said the 23-year-old Lopez, of Wapato, Wash., helped bring drugs from Washington state to the Red River Valley.
       
    The case called Operation Speed Racer began more than five years ago. Myers said all but two of the 66 defendants have been arrested. The names of the other two have not been released but authorities believe they are in Mexico.
       
    Prosecutors said the conspiracy had ties to a violent drug cartel in Mexico and moved methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana to North Dakota and other states.
       
    Five of the defendants were charged in the 2005 killing of Lee Avila of East Grand Forks, Minn., in a dispute over meth.
     
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