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Monday, October 14, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Feds bust alleged drug trafficking ring with ties to North Idaho

Federal agents arrested seven people Thursday, including a local doctor, who are suspected in a multistate drug trafficking ring, according to a criminal indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Idaho.

A federal grand jury in Coeur d’Alene indicted North Las Vegas residents Loren Toelle, 51; Steven Wayne Jackson, 30; Sean Lee Jackson, 27; Robert Lamar Hill, 54; and Kristin Rene Wilson, 28, for their alleged involvement in selling drugs in a ring that generated $1.3 million in proceeds since 2009, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Idaho said in a news release.

Also indicted were Dr. Stanley Toelle, 61, of Coeur d’Alene, and Sherlann Simon, 34, of North Las Vegas. Both are charged with conspiracy to launder money.

Dr. Toelle is a gastroenterologist for Kootenai Health but has been placed on leave, according to a hospital news release.

His attorney, David Partovi, said Toelle was not involved in drug trafficking and not aware of the ring. He appears to be listed on the indictment because his wife was involved in drug trafficking and they own property together, Partovi said.

“He was completely blindsided,” Partovi said. “He might have just ended up married to the wrong person.”

An eighth defendant, Jessica Nadine Frederick, 27, of Liberty Lake, remains at large. No attorneys of record are listed for the other defendants.

Authorities believe the defendants are part of a family organization that has distributed heroin, oxycodone and methamphetamine in Coeur d’Alene, Spokane, Las Vegas, Missoula and various parts of North Dakota, the release said. The indictment lists a total of 13 charges, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, which has a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years.

The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $1.3 million in cash, 10 vehicles, bank accounts belonging to the defendants and property located at 2765 Silver Beach Road in Coeur d’Alene, as well as three properties in Las Vegas.

The charges came after a long-term investigation by the FBI North Idaho Violent Crime Task Force that involved controlled purchases of heroin and oxycodone throughout the investigation, the release said. Federal, state and local law enforcement executed 18 search warrants Thursday in Idaho, Nevada and North Dakota in connection with the case.

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