Crookston woman also pleads guilty to being an accessory

A Crookston man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a 2016 methamphetamine conspiracy linked to a murder investigation in Grand Forks. Daniel Rodriguez Jr., 26, Crookston, was charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs and is one of 13 people being charged in federal court. 

   According to court documents, the case came to the attention of law enforcement after the shooting death of Austin Forsman on March 11, 2016 at the Flying J truck stop in Grand Forks. The investigation into Forsman’s murder quickly resulted in a large meth trafficking conspiracy in the region.

    Krystal Feist of Grand Forks plead guilty to murder and use of a firearm in February, and, as part of her plea, she admitted to shooting Forsman with a shotgun and that the motive was drug related.   

    Feist is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

    Crookston woman Lorie Ortiz, 42, plead guilty to being an accessory to the murder after admitting to destroy evidence like the cell phones of participants involved in the murder to avoid being caught by authorities.

    Ortiz will be sentenced in September.

    Rodriguez Jr. has prior convictions in Polk County including drug possession and fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle.  

    Ortiz has prior traffic violations on record in Polk County.

    The drug conspiracy case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force.