GRAND FORKS — A move from the Trump administration to increase enforcement on illegal immigration has led to a nearly 500 percent increase in the amount of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detainees housed this year in the Grand Forks jail. Through November, the Grand Forks County Correctional Center recorded 5,361 ICE bed days, meaning the jail has averaged about 15 ICE detainees per day, according to administrator Bret Burkholder. A bed day is roughly calculated as a day in which an inmate stays overnight.
CROOKSTON, Minn.—A Crookston man who was sentenced to nearly 27 years in prison for selling meth had his conviction overturned by an appellate court and will begin a new trial process next week. Zane Robert Stigen, 49, was convicted of first-degree meth sale after a jury trial in February 2016 and received a sentence of 322 months in prison from Judge Anne Rasmussen. His sentence came with an aggravated durational departure, meaning he was sentenced to serve more time than state guidelines typically call for.
GRAND FORKS — A civil lawsuit filed in Grand Forks County District Court accuses a developmental housing nonprofit of housing a known sexual predator with a disabled man, who was raped, and attempting to cover up their actions. The lawsuit, filed Dec.12 by the mother of the victim, charges Development Homes Inc., its CEO, Grand Forks City Council member Sandi Marshall; and other DHI employees with negligence, failure to provide a safe environment, violating the victim's rights and inflicting emotional distress.
"Did you take your pill?" That's the question Greg Murphy hears multiple times a day from his wife, Barb, two sons and any other friend or relative who stops by his Grand Forks home. The pill in question is a chemotherapy pill. Greg Murphy has been taking one every day for the past year since undergoing surgery to remove a large, cancerous tumor from his gastrointestinal tract. He'll be on the pills for the next three to five years as a precautionary measure to keep his rare form of cancer at bay. The prescription costs $19,000 per month.
As high-profile men in the worlds of entertainment, media and politics continue to be ousted from their jobs and shunned after allegations of sexual harassment, a UND School of Law professor who has fought for victims in the workplace has been shocked. "For people to get fired just based on allegations is very much stunning to me," said Margaret Moore Jackson, who has been practicing and teaching employment, housing and civil rights law for more than 20 years.
FARGO — A Crookston, Minn., woman who pleaded guilty to destroying evidence to protect the man who ordered a March 2016 murder at a Grand Forks truck stop has been sentenced to serve almost six years in federal prison. Lorie Ortiz, 33, was sentenced to 70 months in prison Monday, Nov. 27, by U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson for her role as an accessory after the fact in the murder of 24-year-old Austin B. Forsman at the Flying J truckstop.
Justice administration in Minnesota varies across its 10 judicial districts and 87 counties, each of which has its own prosecutor's office, but in recent years Polk County in the northwest corner of the state remains an outlier for sentencing. A New York Times analysis of data from the National Corrections Program found the county sent more people to prison per capita than any other in the state in 2014.
GRAND FORKS — Two Grand Forks incidents were counted among the FBI's 2016 Hate Crime Statistics Report released last month, though neither prompted criminal charges. One incident, the widely reported and criticized Snapchat photo of University of North Dakota students gloating after locking a black student out of a residence hall drew national attention to Grand Forks. The other—the assault and harassment of a Muslim-American airman at downtown bars—was largely unknown.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.-- Details are scarce on an investigation into the death of a woman who was brought to a hospital in Devils Lake Tuesday morning after she was stabbed. Devils Lake Police say a woman arrived at the hospital with stab wounds early Tuesday morning and died.
RED LAKE, Minn. — A northwest Minnesota man accused of keeping a cache of pipe bombs in rural Red Lake County was arrested in Kansas after violating the terms of his bail by leaving the state. Eric James Reinbold, 41, was arrested in Kansas over the weekend and is awaiting extradition back to Minnesota, according to Red Lake County Sheriff Mitch Bernstein.