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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
May 5, 2003

Last Defendant in Gamboa Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Sentenced

FARGO, ND - On April 30, 2003, Cassidy Kyle Stich was the last defendant of the Gamboa Methamphetamine Distribution Organization sentenced in the United States District Court of North Dakota on drug trafficking and firearms charges. The Gamboa case is to date the largest drug trafficking conspiracy ever brought to justice in North Dakota and was responsible for approximately 300-500 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $18,000,000.00.

Stich, 27, of Grand Forks, North Dakota, pleaded guilty in December 2002 to three counts related to incidents that occurred between January 1, 1999, through September 2002. The counts included: conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance; using and carrying firearms during and in relation to a drug crime; and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. Judge Rodney S. Webb sentenced Stich to 144 months imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release. Stich was ordered to pay a $300.00 special assessment to the Crime Victim's Fund.

Ringleader Michael G. Gamboa became the first defendant in North Dakota State history to be sentenced to life in prison on narcotics charges in April 2003. In addition to a life sentence, Gamboa also received a consecutive 30-year sentence and an additional consecutive life sentence for possessing, using, and carrying a machine gun in relation to the drug trafficking crimes. Gamboa's brothers, Rolando Rios Gamboa and Edward Gamboa pleaded guilty in the wake of their brother's conviction and received 180 months and 57 months incarceration, respectively. Two other defendants in the case, James Nicholas Borkowski (146 months incarceration) and Delwin Jo Whitelightning (147 months incarceration) also plead guilty.

The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the District of North Dakota and was investigated by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation; the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force; the Grand Forks Police Department; the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; the Polk County Sheriff's Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department; the Bismarck Police Department; and the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force. The Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force is comprised of agents from the Internal Revenue Service, the Cass County Sheriff's Department, the Clay County Sheriff's Department, the Fargo Police Department; and the Moorhead Police Department in addition to DEA personnel.

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