Detroit man sentenced to 15 years in prison for selling oxycodone on Turtle Mountain reservation

James Williams Quarles, 42, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and conspiracy to launder money.


A Detroit man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone on the Turtle Mountain Reservation and conspiracy to launder money.

James William Quarles, 42, also was sentenced to five years of supervised release upon the conclusion of his prison sentence. He pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday, March 29, to continuing a criminal enterprise, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and money laundering conspiracy.

According to court documents, law enforcement conducted controlled buys of oxycodone in early 2017 in Belcourt, N.D., when they were introduced to Quarles, who was staying in Rocklake, N.D. Quarles was one person in a network of people predominantly from the Detroit area selling oxycodone for $70 per pill in the Belcourt area, according to documents.

When those individuals arrived in Rolette County, they often brought about 1,000 pills to sell. Quarles hid his pills in DVD players and other small electronics and instructed those who worked for him to carry them for him, documents show.

In August 2019, a confidential informant told law enforcement where Quarles kept his pills, and a search warrant was executed on the Rocklake residence, where nearly $2,000, four cell phones and two plastic bags of marijuana were seized as evidence, according to documents. In an interview with law enforcement, Quarles admitted to selling oxycodone in the Belcourt area, but said he is not at the top of the drug trafficking organization.

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