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NORTH DAKOTA CRIME: Authorities bust Cavalier County meth operation

Authorities say a 300-pound propane gas tank that contained anhydrous ammonia and a stolen fish house used in the manufacture of methamphetamine were buried underground in Cavalier County.

Authorities say a 300-pound propane gas tank that contained anhydrous ammonia and a stolen fish house used in the manufacture of methamphetamine were buried underground in Cavalier County.

Three people were arrested in connection to the buried items, according to the Cavalier County Sheriff's Office.

Eddie Evans, 30, Langdon, N.D., has been charged with manufacturing meth. Pauline Hansel, 37, and Gary Denault, 39, both of Langdon, have been charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth. All charges are Class A felonies with a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Authorities said they uncovered the propane tank Nov. 21, which was buried in a gravel pit about 14 miles northeast of Langdon. Later the same day, authorities uncovered a fish house, reportedly stolen, which was buried on property about 6 miles northeast of Langdon.

The tank was filled with anhydrous ammonia, according to authorities. Within the fish house, authorities "recovered materials used in the manufacture of methamphetamine" and some stolen property, according to authorities.


The discovery follows a six-month investigation by the sheriff's office and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation into numerous reports of theft and possible drug activity in the area, authorities said in a news release.

The investigation also led authorities to search property in Mount Carmel, N.D., where they recovered meth paraphernalia and "stolen items from recent area thefts," according to the release.

Evans, Hansel and Denault appeared Monday in Cavalier County District Court in Langdon. Bond was set for each at $15,000. The next court appearance for the three was set for Dec. 18.

Further charges against additional defendants are pending, according to the sheriff's office.

Fort Totten man

gets 10 years

A Fort Totten, N.D., man will spend 10 years in federal prison for performing a sexual act on a 14-year-old child, according to the state U.S. Attorney's office.

Paul Wallace Robertson, 41, Fort Totten, was sentenced Monday in federal court in Grand Forks on one charge of sexual abuse of a minor. He was charged in March this year with having sexual contact with the teenage girl in 2001.


Robertson pleaded guilty to the charge in September.

In 1998, Robertson was convicted of sexual abuse of an 11-year-old child.

Monday, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson explained that he used victim-impact testimony as the basis to depart from guidelines and give Robertson a longer sentence.

Robertson "sexually exploited and emotionally abused vulnerable young people whom he had a responsibility to protect," U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley said. "Robertson's heartless acts across many years took away the children's right to expect that they would be treated with dignity, compassion and love."

Belcourt man gets

almost five years

A Belcourt, N.D., man was sentenced to spend four years and nine months in federal prison for repeatedly hitting his live-in girlfriend with a fan belt, a stick and barbell weights.


Authorities say Jesse M. Davis, 34, beat the woman for a period of hours March 13. Davis called an ambulance for the woman only after she agreed to tell law enforcement officials that "three Mexicans assaulted her," according to the North Dakota U.S. Attorney's office.

The woman had severe injuries, including a collapsed lung, officials said.

Davis pleaded guilty to the charge Sept. 5. He was sentenced Monday in the federal courthouse in Minot.

In addition to prison time, Davis was sentenced to pay $7,400 in restitution to North Dakota Medicaid.

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