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Forum staff reports, Published August 03 2010

Fargo man admits meth he sold resulted in Bismarck overdose death

FARGO – A Fargo man involved in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy pleaded guilty Monday to federal drug and firearm charges, admitting that some of the meth he sold resulted in an overdose death in Bismarck in August 2009.

Jesse Ryan Walters, 26, was charged with 26 other defendants in “Operation Budapest,” an investigation that uncovered a meth trafficking operation that spanned from California and Nebraska to Minnesota and North Dakota from January 2008 to March 2010, according to a news release from Acting U.S. Attorney Lynn Jordheim.

Walters pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson to selling more than 500 grams of a mixture of meth as part of the conspiracy. He also pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and felon in possession of a firearm, the news release stated.

He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and numerous state and local law enforcement agencies.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 15.