A fugitive wanted on drug trafficking charges will soon be on her way back to the Midwest after being captured by authorities in Mexico last week.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 33-year-old Deanna Marie Gerads of St. Cloud was apprehended on Aug. 1 after a year on the run following narcotics trafficking charges in North Dakota. Gerads appeared in federal court in Houston, Texas Aug. 3 on a warrant, charging her with conspiracy to distribute and import controlled substances into the U.S.
A judge ordered that she remain in custody and be transported to North Dakota by U.S. Marshals for an initial appearance.
An indictment filed Aug. 3 alleges Gerads and 11 co-defendants ran a drug trafficking operation that, beginning in 2019, distributed methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
Prosecutors allege that Gerads and other defendants were receiving controlled substances directly from the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico and importing them to the U.S. for distribution. The indictment says the conspirators used violence or the threat of violence to ensure payment for the drugs and to conceal their illegal activities.
Authorities say Gerads’ case is part of “Operation Unfinished Business II,” an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation into the international trafficking of methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl. It involves investigators from the FBI, DEA, St. Cloud Police, Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Sartell Police, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, Morrison County Sheriff’s Office, Internal Revenue Service – CID, Fargo Police, West Fargo Police, Minnesota BCA.