DEATH * BY * METH

This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Six indicted on charges ranging from murder to drug trafficking

http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/news/state/13731186.htm
Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. - A federal grand jury has indicted six people, including an alleged drug ringleader, a former area American Idol finalist, and the mother of a man killed last summer, in a case involving drugs and murder.
U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley announced the indictments Friday.
Michael Petzold, 23, of Norfolk, Neb., who allegedly headed a conspiracy to bring drugs into the United States and Mexico, is accused of killing Lee Avila, 28, of East Grand Forks, Minn.
Police said they got a 911 call and found Avila shot to death at an East Grand Forks residence June 30. Authorities said Avila had earlier criminal convictions and labeled his death as drug-related.
Petzold is charged with murder in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise, a charge that could bring the death penalty, Wrigley said at a Fargo news conference.
"This is the first time a federal indictment has been returned in North Dakota or Minnesota - I'm not aware of any there - where a federal death penalty is a potential ... on a narcotics trafficking case," Wrigley said.
Also indicted was Avila's mother, Francisca Avila-Vargas, 44, of St. Paul, Minn., Wrigley said. Avila-Vargas, who goes by the nicknames "Poncha" and "Mama," faces a conspiracy charge in the same indictment as Petzold, though she was not charged directly in her son's death.
The charges involve a drug ring alleged to have brought large amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana from Mexico and other places to the Red River Valley since 2002.
Others indicted were Soledad Ybarra, 21, a finalist for Fargo's 2002 "American Idol" competition; Anthony Valdez, 22, of Turlock, Calif; and Lacey Kathryn Johnson, 18, and Jonathan Olbay Meyer, 21, both of Fargo.
The defendants face between 10 years to life in prison if convicted on conspiracy of possessing meth, cocaine and marijuana with the intent of selling the drugs.
A seventh defendant tied to the conspiracy, Troy Gene Lorsung, 22, of Moorhead, Minn., pleaded guilty in federal court last week to selling meth. Because of previous drug convictions, Lorsung faces a mandatory life sentence unless he provides authorities with information that helps convict others involved in selling drugs.
Clay County, Minn., authorities said last fall that they found a handgun and a spiral notebook with notes detailing a drug and homicide investigation during a search of the Moorhead, Minn., apartment where Ybarra lived.
Petzold had been scheduled for trial this week on charges involving a drug conspiracy. Authorities said he had lived in Wahpeton and was convicted there for drug possession five years ago.
The latest indictment, which links two trafficking conspiracies filed last year, accuses Petzold of heading a ring that distributed at least 33 pounds of meth, with a street value topping $600,000, in the Red River Valley.
Authorities said the trafficking ring sold drugs from homes and hotels in Fargo, Wahpeton, Sanborn, and the communities of Moorhead, Hawley, Cormorant and Breckenridge in Minnesota.
"At some point, you're going to run out of folks who are going to be participating at this level of activity," Wrigley said. "We have to do everything we can to take out people who traffic."

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