Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Four women have been federally indicted for allegedly conspiring to distribute controlled substances around the Twin Ports and for financial transactions involving their drug trafficking.
The indictment charges Taylor Kay Hanson, age 21; Talia Jackie Jaros, age 20; Danielle Ann Lamberton, age 24; and Elizabeth Rose Schlais, age 20, with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The indictment, which was filed on July 16th, was unsealed following the defendants’ initial court appearances.
Allegedly, from 2010 through September of 2011, the defendants conspired with each other and others to distribute the controlled substances. They also allegedly conspired to conduct financial transactions involving their drug trafficking proceeds.
Twenty-five co-conspirators have already pleaded guilty to roles in the operation, and seven of them have been sentenced.
Authorities began investigating this group in 2010, after law enforcement noted an increase in Opana trafficking in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Opana contains the controlled substance oxymorphone.
Investigators conducted surveillance and dozens of controlled purchases before making any arrests.
On September 27th, 2011, law enforcement also executed search warrants at nine properties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, where authorities seized firearms, ammunition, approximately $30,000, as well as narcotics.
If convicted, the defendants face a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each charge.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force, the Duluth Police Department, the Hermantown Police Department, the Superior, Wisconsin, Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Posted to the web by Krista Burns