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Fargo man gets 15 years in drug case

A man who was pulled over for littering must spend more than 15 years in prison for a traffic stop where officers uncovered drugs, guns, night vision goggles and a list of SWAT scanner codes.

A man who was pulled over for littering must spend more than 15 years in prison for a traffic stop where officers uncovered drugs, guns, night vision goggles and a list of SWAT scanner codes.

The Fargo man, 23-year-old Eric Alan Faleide, received the sentence Friday in U.S. District Court for conspiracy to sell meth and possessing firearms to further a drug-trafficking crime.

He pleaded guilty to the charges June 26.

In July 2005, Faleide was stopped at a red light near the patrol's Fargo office when he threw a cigarette from his Ford Explorer. A trooper witnessed Faleide littering and pulled him over before searching the vehicle.

The case moved from state court to federal court because of Faleide's history with meth and guns, said Keith Reisenauer, an assistant U.S. attorney.

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"He's been in trouble with the law his whole adult life," Reisenauer said.

In 2001, court papers named Faleide as one of two suspects for damage at three utility substations in southeastern North Dakota. During interviews with FBI agents, Faleide denied a role in shooting the substations but was aware a .223-caliber rifle had been used in the incidents.

The shooters caused about $1 million to substations and also hit cattle, farm equipment, wildlife and businesses.

The same year, Faleide and others were arrested outside a Snoop Dogg concert in Fargo. He faced drug charges while the driver was charged with reckless endangerment for nearly running over two police officers.

Faleide has been arrested or convicted several times for drugs. In 2002, state prosecutors convicted Faleide on meth-related charges and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

In the most recent charges, Faleide faced up to life in prison. Prosecutors agreed to ask U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson for a downward departure because Faleide agreed to provide help to police in other investigations.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Steven P. Wagner at (701) 241-5542

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