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4 men arrested on meth charges

The windows of Ed Schaefer's West Duluth home were bashed in three months after he moved here from Dallas. It was 2 a.m. and he called 911, grabbed his shotgun and went downstairs.

The windows of Ed Schaefer's West Duluth home were bashed in three months after he moved here from Dallas. It was 2 a.m. and he called 911, grabbed his shotgun and went downstairs.

"There was a bunch of people beating my door with baseball bats," he said. "Young kids. But the police were there in 30 seconds."

He later learned the youths had the wrong house, but -- after moving from Dallas to get away from crime-ridden streets -- the vandalism was an unwelcome surprise.

That was three years ago, and Schaefer, president of the Spirit Valley Citizens' Neighborhood Development Association, is pleased with police response in West Duluth. He attended a neighborhood meeting held by the Duluth Police Department in the parking lot of St. James Catholic Church on Wednesday night.

Chief Gordon Ramsey announced to a crowd of 50 the arrests and indictments of four Duluth men charged with various federal methamphetamine and firearm crimes. Duluth police say the men have been responsible for a large volume of police calls in that neighborhood.

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Jeffrey Allen Curry, 23, was charged with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of meth, distribution of meth, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Justin David Curry, 24, was charged with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of meth, distribution of meth, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and using and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime. He faces up to 235 months in prison.

Jason Charles Curry, 21, was charged with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of meth and three counts of distribution of the drug. He faces up to 168 months in prison.

Brian Marty Boder, 27, was charged with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of meth, two counts of possession with intent to distribute meth and distribution of the drug. He faces up to 235 months in prison.

The men were arrested Dec. 14 and were charged in U.S. District Court Dec. 15. Investigators from the Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives worked together on "Operation Diamondback," in progress for more than a year. Ten other defendants have been charged and convicted in connection with this operation, Duluth police said.

Mayor Herb Bergson thanked the investigators for their work.

"This is a message to all criminals out there," he told the crowd. "The street belongs to you people."

West Duluth resident Eldon Kilpatrick said it was important that police were addressing the neighborhood about criminal activity.

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"It's nice to know what the heck is going on," he said. "If nothing else, it makes you at least realize you should lock your doors."

Schaefer said there's not a lot of crime in the area, but he's aware of meth labs on some nearby streets, and petty "hoodlum" crimes.

"But I'm excited about the West Duluth (police) substation," he said. "Policing is becoming better."

Ramsey said the Mobile Command Center, a high-tech police RV which was open for tours Wednesday night, would be brought to more city "hot spots" as the force tries to make neighborhoods more aware of crimes and arrests.

"This area has been struggling with crime," he said, noting 10 more officers would be hired next month to put more people on the street, including a new officer in West Duluth.

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