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Three men sentenced in drug conspiracy in Fargo

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news Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

FARGO -- Three men have been sentenced in federal court in Fargo for conspiring to bring drugs -- including methamphetamine -- from Texas to sell in the Fargo-Moorhead area.


Juan Cerna, 26, of Moorhead, Minn., was sentenced Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson to 18½ years for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance.

Steven Schmidt, 35, of Fargo, was sentenced to five years in the conspiracy, and Brandon Elsenpeter, 26, also of Fargo, was sentenced to three years’ probation for his involvement.

All three men were ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victims Fund in addition to their sentence.

Cerna transported kilogram quantities of methamphetamines from Texas that were distributed in the Fargo-Moorhead area, a release from the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The co-conspirators also got large quantities of marijuana from the Minneapolis area and distributed throughout the local area, the release said.

Cerna’s brother, David Cerna Jr., pleaded guilty during trial and will be sentenced April 14 in U.S. District Court.