No trial date set in Fort Berthold drug trafficking case

2013-07-02T16:58:00Z No trial date set in Fort Berthold drug trafficking caseBy JENNY MICHAEL | Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune

No trial date has been set for the 22 people indicted for allegedly conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and heroin on Fort Berthold Reservation.

The indictment in the case was filed March 26 but was not unsealed until Monday. The arrests of the 22 defendants in the case, dubbed "Operation Winter's End," ranged from the time the indictment was filed until last week.

All 22 defendants face identical charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin.

Horatio Lopez, also known as “Happy,” 33, of Wasco, Calif., Oscar Lopez, 28 of Wasco, Calif., and Michael Jason Smith, 32 of Evergreen, Colo., were the only people indicted who live outside North Dakota.

The North Dakota residents indicted were Nathan “Nate” David McKenzie, 33, of Trenton, Jaelyn Faith Crows Breast, 21, of New Town, Cassie Lynn Packineau, 22, of New Town, Donald T. Rasmussen, 26, of New Town, Kealoha Asaga Aulaumea, also known as “Sunga,” 21, of New Town, Bonita June Casarez, 29, of New Town, LaToya Christine Lone Bear, 31, of Mandaree, Guy Curtis Slates, 58, of New Town, Ashly June White, 27 of New Town, Elizabeth Ann Rodriguez, also known as Elizabeth Lockwood or Liz Rodriguez, 27, of New Town, Sean Ray Conklin, 35, of New Town, Connie Rae Azure, 38, of New Town, Tomas David Hale, 20, of New Town, Gary Ray Foote Jr., also known as “Bear,” 20, of New Town, Hailey Jo Deane, also known as Hailey Baker, 25, of New Town, Avis Gean Finley, 47, of New Town, Justin Lloyd Price, 24, of New Town, Akaka Katrina Aulaumea, 24, of New Town, and Megan Darlen Overlie, 21, of Minot.

According to court documents, some of the defendants were released on their promises to appear pending trial and had to submit to drug testing. Several have been returned to jail after testing positive for prescription drugs and street drugs.

Reach Jenny Michael at 701-250-8225 or

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