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Published July 29 2010

Two plead not guilty to federal drug charges

Two people have pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges in connection with a September 2009 drug bust at Dakota Magic Casino, according to documents filed in Fargo’s U.S. District Court.

Manuel Quintero, then 39, of Paramount, Calif., and Michelle Quintero, then 40, of Lidgerwood, N.D., were found with about 1 pound of methamphetamine while staying at the casino near Hankinson, N.D.

Authorities searched the casino hotel room listed in Michelle Quintero’s name and found about $80,000 worth of methamphetamine, meth paraphernalia, a bank deposit receipt for $6,600 and $1,062 in cash, according to previously filed documents.

Manuel and Michelle Quintero are charged with money laundering and possession and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute. They pleaded not guilty during recent hearings in federal court.

A third defendant in the case, Debbie Lee McFadden, of San Pedro, Calif., is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 9 on the charge against her, which is conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute.