Weather Forecast


Bemidji woman pleads not guilty to meth distribution

BEMIDJI -- A woman who was part of a four person methamphetamine bust in June plead not guilty to drug sale charges Monday in Beltrami County Court.

Tamara Sue Halverson, 45, of Bemidji, is charged with one count of felony first-degree sale of methamphetamine. First-degree drug sale carries a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine.

Halverson was arrested after Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force narcotics agents conducted multiple search warrants and seized a large amount of cash, vehicles and other evidence in Puposky.

The evidence connected Halverson and three Bemidji men to a criminal enterprise established in the area which involved several other states and large quantities of methamphetamine sold in Northwest Minnesota.

One of Halverson's co-conspirators, Shawn Elston Jackson, 46, is charged with two counts of felony first-degree drug sale. Jackson has not yet plead to the charge, he is scheduled for a Sept. 5 court appearance in Beltrami County Court. Halverson is scheduled for a pre-trial appearance Nov. 13. Halverson and Jackson are being held in the Beltrami County Jail.

Two other men, Phillip Eugene Gurzi, 54, and Raymond Jesse Nibbe Jr., 57, were also facing charges in Beltrami County. The Beltrami County Attorney's Office worked with the U.S. Attorney's Office to transfer Gurzi and Nibbe's cases to federal jurisdiction due to time restraints imposed at the county and state levels.

Gurzi and Nibbewere transferred to federal custody after their cases were dismissed in county court Aug. 7. They are now part of a case in U.S. District Court involving five other individuals. Gurzi’s pending charges in the case include conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, aiding and abetting distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine and possession of ammunition. Pending charges against Nibbe are conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and aiding and abetting distribution of methamphetamine.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
(218) 333-9796