Listen: Suspected El Chapo rival, cartel boss appears in North Dakota federal court

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Here is your InForum Minute for Wednesday, Sept. 14.

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Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by soldiers during a presentation at the Navy's airstrip in Mexico City, in this file photo taken February 22, 2014. REUTERS/Henry Romero/Files

MOORHEAD — A suspected Mexican cartel leader who allegedly rivaled El Chapo and had connections to an investigation into the fatal shooting of an East Grand Forks, Minnesota, man nearly 20 years ago has been extradited to North Dakota on federal charges.

Juan Francisco Sillas-Rocha appeared Friday, Sept. 9, in Fargo on federal counts of conspiracy to possess drugs with intent to distribute, continuing a criminal enterprise and conspiracy to commit murder. It’s unclear in which jail he is being held.

A federal indictment that was filed in March 2011 detailed how Sillas-Rocha allegedly led a drug ring in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Washington state, California and elsewhere from 2002 into early 2011. That included bringing large amounts of meth, cocaine and marijuana from Mexico, Washington and California to the Red River Valley, an indictment said. Full story here.


Parents of slain 14-year-old testify at murder trial in Fargo

Antonia Johnson testifies Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, at the Cass County Courthouse in the Arthur Kollie trial. Kollie is accused of killing Johnson's daughter, Jupiter.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

FARGO — The parents of a 14-year-old Fargo girl who died after a random attack last year testified Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the trial of the man accused of killing her.

In emotional testimony presented in Cass County District Court, Robert Paulsen and Antonia Johnson told jurors their daughter, Jupiter , was a kind, talented and generous girl who would help anyone.

"She was the heart and soul of so many people," Johnson said as she cried on the stand.

Paulsen and Johnson's testimony were some of the last to be presented by prosecutors in the Arthur Prince Kollie trial.

Kollie, a 24-year-old who lived at a homeless shelter in Fargo, is accused of attacking Jupiter for nearly 30 minutes on June 4, 2021, in the Party City parking lot in south Fargo. Full story here.

Health officials issue rabies warning after raccoon visits North Dakota bar

Image from Wikipedia. By Darkone - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5,

MADDOCK, N.D. — North Dakota health officials are issuing a warning after someone brought a raccoon into the Maddock Bar, resulting in patrons possibly being exposed to rabies.

The state Department of Health and Human Services put out the warning Tuesday, Sept. 13, saying the raccoon was brought into the bar on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Health officials said anyone bitten by the raccoon or anyone who had contact with the raccoon’s saliva should speak with a health care provider as soon as possible regarding the risk of rabies.


“Because rabies is such a serious disease with a nearly 100% fatality rate, we are making this information available to the public as a precautionary measure,” said Amanda Bakken, a state epidemiologist. Full story here.

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A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
Follow this Fargo-Moorhead news and weather podcast on Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
The 12 plaintiffs suffered injuries including bruising from less-lethal munitions, lingering respiratory issues from tear gas and psychological trauma, the ACLU said.