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Dave Olson, Published January 07 2009

Clay detective's work draws honors

When Chuck Anderson heard that a suspect in a drug-related murder planned to visit an inmate at the Clay County Jail, the detective with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department watched and waited.

His diligence was rewarded when the suspect showed up.

Savvy visitors to the jail know conversations are recorded, so they sometimes hold written notes against a glass barrier.

Anderson had the suspect searched and authorities found a note asking a jail inmate to be his alibi in a 2005 killing in East Grand Forks, Minn.

Anderson’s work sealed the case against the getaway driver in the murder and helped bring to justice other defendants in what became known as Operation Speed Racer, a federal drug-trafficking investigation that resulted in charges against more than 60 people.

For his efforts, Anderson received a plaque Tuesday from U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Myers, who stood up at a Clay County Commission meeting and thanked Anderson for helping put a large kink in the pipeline that brings drugs into the region.

“Chuck Anderson has played a central role in that,” said Wrigley.

In other matters Tuesday:

- Commissioners warned that the county may need to deal with tough budget decisions in the coming year in the face of shrinking state aid.

In his state of the county address, outgoing board chairman Jon Evert said the problem was evident in the county’s latest aid payment from the state of Minnesota, which reflected a reduction of $415,152.

- The board welcomed new members Wayne Ingersoll and Grant Weyland.

- Jerry Waller was elected chairman of the commission and Kevin Campbell was elected vice-chairman.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555