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Grand Forks woman charged with fentanyl trafficking, other drug crimes plans to change her plea

If the plea agreement is accepted, she will serve seven years in prison. The change-of-plea hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 31.

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GRAND FORKS – A Grand Forks woman charged with fentanyl trafficking and other crimes canceled her Thursday, Oct. 20, final dispositional conference and will be changing her plea.

Ginger Marlene Anderson, 38, is charged with eight counts of drug-related crimes.

According to an affidavit in the case, the Grand Forks Police Department and Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force established a confidential informant on July 6, 2022. The informant reported they had been traveling with Anderson to get heroin about twice a month.

The GFNTF began surveillance at a local hotel, where Anderson had been staying, according to the informant. While there, they arrested Lela Shilling on her active warrants as well as observed drug paraphernalia. Shilling was on supervised probation and therefore subject to searches, the affidavit says.

Shilling’s phone was searched and text messages between herself and an unidentified individual were found, in which Shilling agreed to trade the “blues” (counterfeit M30 pills, or fentanyl) she would be picking up for the other’s “points” (methamphetamine).

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The affidavit says Josiah Massaquoi drove Shilling to the hotel to buy fentanyl from Anderson. Massaquoi gave Shilling $50 to do so, which he told the GFNTF, the affidavit says.

The GFNTF received authorization from the State’s Attorney’s Office to enter and secure Anderson’s hotel room without a search warrant. Anderson was located in the hallway near her room and detained.

Upon entering the hotel room, the GFNTF saw “a possible snort tube or scoop with [drug] residue,” the affidavit says.

Later that day, the GFNTF executed a search warrant on the room and seized 26 items, including approximately 1.8 grams of methamphetamine, 2.2 grams of butyryl fentanyl, 1.6 grams of benzyl fentanyl, 9.5 grams of 3-fluoro methoxyacetyl, 0.82 grams of fentanyl, one gabapentin pill, four benzodiazepine pills, 10 suboxone pills, five naloxone hydrochloride pills, various forms of paraphernalia, a digital scale and $711 in cash.

Anderson is charged with possession of fentanyl analog — 10 grams or more — with intent to manufacture or deliver, a Class A felony. This charge has a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

She is also charged with delivery of fentanyl and possession with intent to manufacture or deliver fentanyl, both of which which are Class B felonies. These charges each have a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. Anderson’s last felony charge is the Class C felony of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. This charge has a maximum sentence of five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

The remaining charges, all Class A misdemeanors, are for possession of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule III narcotic drug, possession of a schedule IV depressant and possession of a schedule V depressant. These charges each have a maximum sentence of 360 days in prison and $3,000 in fines.

If the proposed plea agreement is accepted, Anderson would be sentenced to 20 years in prison with 13 suspended – but the agreement would allow Anderson to argue for a lesser sentence.

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Following her release, she would be on supervised probation for two years.

The plea agreement would dismiss five charges: possession of fentanyl with intent to manufacture or deliver, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a schedule III narcotic drug, possession of a schedule IV depressant and possession of a schedule V depressant.

Anderson’s change-of-plea hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 31.

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Sav Kelly joined the Grand Forks Herald in August 2022.

Kelly covers public safety, including local crime and the courts system.

Readers can reach Kelly at (701) 780-1102 or skelly@gfherald.com.
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