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Federal authorities investigate Fargo-Moorhead crack cocaine ring

Federal prosecutors announced Friday that they are cracking down on a distribution ring that is accused of bringing crack cocaine into the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Federal prosecutors announced Friday that they are cracking down on a distribution ring that is accused of bringing crack cocaine into the Fargo-Moorhead area.

The announcement came after a Fargo man who is facing a charge involving conspiracy and distribution of crack cocaine made an appearance in U.S. District Court in Fargo.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Klein released Anthony Mandell Walker, also known as "Big Tony," to supervised release in a halfway house pending his trial. Walker earlier had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Drew Wrigley, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota, said federal authorities are aggressively investigating and prosecuting the case to prevent the spread of crack cocaine, which is relatively cheap and highly addictive.

"It's certainly our objective to see further indictments in this matter," Wrigley said, adding he does not want to see crack trafficking "get so much as a toehold, let alone a foothold," in the area.

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The investigation is continuing, he said. Walker's indictment, issued Aug. 20, remains sealed.

Before releasing Walker to the supervision of pretrial officers, Klein said Walker, who has a lengthy criminal background including previous drug cases, likely would face more than 10 years in prison if convicted.

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