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Northland residents indicted on meth charges

Operation Name Change could result in a change of address for 28 people from the Northland and the Twin Cities indicted on methamphetamine charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minneapolis announced Thursday.

Operation Name Change could result in a change of address for 28 people from the Northland and the Twin Cities indicted on methamphetamine charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minneapolis announced Thursday.

The defendants were indicted on Aug. 20 and the indictment was unsealed this week following the arrest of 21 of the defendants. The accused made their initial appearance in U.S. District Court in St. Paul on Wednesday.

"It's a very large case that our department has been working on since 2005," Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said Thursday. "It involves a lot of personnel time, and we're pleased to see it come to an end with the indictments. Obviously, with the federal involvement, these individuals are going to face some severe sanctions. We're glad to see that individuals that are bringing drugs into our community and selling them are going to pay the price."

Thirteen of those indicted have Northland addresses. They are each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Those indicted from Duluth are: Sandra Marie Archambeau, 35; Alana Lynn Brown, 23; Robert Gene Chapman, 38; Nichole Ann Kearney, 22; Justin Paul Linskie, 23; Tracey Lyn Myers, 35; John Edmund Schostag, 37; and Karen Mae Tremain, 43.

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Also indicted from this area are: Joey James Hagadorn, 39, Superior; John Eugene Highland, 26, Two Harbors; Kirk Paul Johnson, 56, Lutsen; Gail Lynn Lindrud, 53, and Martin John Lindrud, 53, both of Forbes.

Archambeau, Hagadorn, Chapman, Myers, Highland, Johnson, Kearney, Linskie and the Lindruds also are charged with actual distribution of methamphetamine.

Schostag is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.

Three defendants in the operation already have pleaded guilty in connection with the distribution ring, including Jimmy Joe Korf, of St. Paul, who operated in Duluth. Korf pleaded guilty in July to one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute more than 15 kilograms of meth. A sentencing date for Korf has not been set.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Duluth police and the Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force carried out the operation.

Duluth police Lt. Dan Chicos, commander of the drug and gang task force, said police invested more than 1,000 investigative hours in building the cases. He declined to explain why the police operation was labeled Operation Name Change.

Chicos said the production of meth in the Northland is down, but the drug is being trafficked from Mexico, the West Coast and the Twin Cities and ending up in the hands of dealers in the Twin Ports and the Iron Range.

More than two dozen pairs of hands were taken out of operation by the police operation.

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