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Published January 11 2012

Fergus Falls police break up smuggling ring

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – A Minneapolis woman is in jail after police here broke up a drug-smuggling operation into a treatment facility where a resident overdosed and nearly died.

Rachel Lynn Campbell, 33, was charged on Tuesday in Otter Tail County District Court with several drug conspiracy-related felonies. She also faces a charge related to the hospitalization of Trista Marie Cloud, who remains in a coma in a Fargo hospital as a result of an overdose.

Staff at Community Addiction Recovery Enterprise, a locked state-run facility located at 1174 Western Ave. in Fergus Falls, contacted police in early December about illegal drugs being smuggled in, Police Chief Kile Bergren said.

On Dec. 8, police found bindles of heroin weighing 3.6 pounds hidden in a bottle of body wash and a bottle of shampoo that had been mailed to a CARE patient, court documents show.

Cloud was hospitalized on Dec. 15 after she was found unconscious and not breathing, court documents state. The next day, police conducted interviews at CARE, where Cloud had been a patient.

Campbell told police that she, along with Cloud and two other women, had conspired to have packages containing hidden heroin and prescription drugs shipped to CARE from the Minneapolis area, documents state. The first packages were sent from Minneapolis in late November.

The return names and addresses on the packages were fictitious, but through interviews with Campbell and in working with the U.S. Postal Service, police identified the people in Minneapolis who mailed the drugs. Warrants have been issued for their arrest, Bergren said.

Three other suspects in the conspiracy are being held in separate county jails on unrelated charges, he added.

Bergren is comfortable that everyone involved in the smuggling operation has been identified.

Although it’s not uncommon for contraband to make its way into locked facilities such as CARE, Bergren said the heroin involved in this case was a concern to police.

“Heroin in general is something that’s rare (for Fergus Falls),” he said. “It’s something that we normally don’t see, or haven’t seen for quite some time.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535