Minnesota Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Force faces intense media scrutiny after North Dakota teenager disappears
by Timothy Charles Holmseth
An 18 year-old girl from Grand Forks, North Dakota may have narrowly escaped the tragic fate that befell Rachel Hoffman and Andrew Sadek.
In a flurry of recent news articles regarding Jenna Stai, the teen that vanished amidst her involvement with the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force, two leading news organizations serving Northeast North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota have revealed something is amiss with the East Grand Forks Police Department (EGFPD).
The disappearance of Stai has only added to the pile of existing concerns regarding the embattled EGFPD.
The latest set of events to cast doubt on the EGFPD’s integrity involves the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force, and the appearance that police may have pressured a very young girl, charged with drug dealing, to enter the dangerous world of ‘confidential informant’.
However, bad news out of East Grand Forks and Polk County is longer anything new to the headlines.
In recent years, the City of EGF, EGFPD, Minnesota Public Defender’s Office, and Polk County Attorney’s Office have moved from one scandal to the next in what appears to be cover-ups of cover-ups.
In July, 2014, nine defendants were named in a federal deprivation of rights lawsuit filed in United States District Court by Timothy Charles Holmseth, a local journalist and author.
Since the filing of the lawsuit, the behavior of the EGFPD and Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force has become increasingly suspicious and erratic.
Police records show that in 2009, the EGFPD became involved with Mafia figures in Florida associated with Scott W. Rothstein.
In December, 2009, Rothstein, a corrupt Fort Lauderdale attorney, turned himself into federal authorities to face charges surrounding the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of Florida – $1.4 Billion. He was subsequently sentenced to 50 years in prison.
In the summer of 2009, business partners of Rothstein, under investigation by law enforcement for the kidnapping of HaLeigh Ann-Marie Cummings, as well as possessing information about the death of the Orlando toddler Caylee Marie Anthony, began telephoning the EGFPD.
The individuals calling the EGFPD wanted the police to arrest Timothy Holmseth.
When plans were made to fraudulently obtain a domestic violence protection order against Holmseth from a Broward County divorce court, which was filed by a person he had never personally met, but telephonically interviewed regarding the HaLeigh Cummings kidnapping, Holmseth received death threats warning him to not show up for the hearing.
The EGFPD suspiciously neglected to investigate the death threats, but rather, began to actively assist the individuals threatening Holmseth in their attempts to shut down Holmseth’s publication.
The EGFPD subsequently utilized the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force to target Holmseth, a former award-winning newspaper reporter. Holmseth had conducted untold hours of interviews with key figures in the HaLeigh Cummings kidnapping case, while simultaneously providing valuable information to the Minnesota and Jacksonville FBI, which the FBI was acting upon in Florida.
In 2014, the City of EGF was exposed by Holmseth when he requested the Minnesota State Auditor investigate the City of EGF for financial fraud and corruption. An audit subsequently revealed local officials were committing loan fraud and laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars through a City agency that receives federal funding, in a scandal that became known as Boardwalk Enterprises.
In 2015, the EGFPD became embroiled in yet another scandal involving Jenna Stai, a missing person that temporarily disappeared after becoming involved with the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force.
The Jenna Stai missing person case closely resembles two tragic high profile cases where young, naïve, and un-trained persons were exploited by law enforcement to act as a drug informant.
In June, 2014, the body of 20-year-old Andrew Sadek, a student at the North Dakota College of Science, Wahpeton, North Dakota, was found in the Red River. Sadek died of a gunshot to the head. His body had a backpack full of rocks attached to it. He had been acting as a confidential informant for a police task force, which he signed onto after being busted for selling a total of $80 worth of marijuana in a school zone.
In May, 2008, Rachel Hoffman, a 23-year-old Florida State University graduate was murdered while acting as a police informant during a botched drug sting. Her body was recovered two days later near Perry, Florida.
The Tallahassee Police Department admitted that Hoffman had no training to work undercover. The officers involved in the operation were suspended with pay, and the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
It appears the EGFPD may have taken a page right of the Tallahassee Police Department’s playbook.
Rapidly emerging facts in the Jenna Stai case indicate prosecutorial decisions are/were being made in real-time, based upon undocumented expectations of Stai.
The case bears stunning similarities to the Rachel Hoffman and Andrew Sadek cases.
Of particular note is the actual filing date of the criminal charges against Stai, because two additional charges were filed against her much later than the first two; and they were filed only after she failed to show up for a court hearing.
The original criminal complaint against Stai was filed on January 23, 2015 and contained two felony counts of sale of a controlled substance. Stai missed a court hearing for the drug charges and fell off the radar. The media subsequently announced that police and Stai’s family were seeking her whereabouts and asked for the public’s assistance in locating her.
In early February, after talking to Stai’s mother, Valley News Live reported the Jenna Stai missing person case was “eerily similar” to the Andrew Sadek case in Wahpeton. Stai’s mother told Valley News that Jenna had been cooperating with authorities and was terrified.
It is understandable that Jenna Stai’s family was concerned, because after Andrew Sadek’s body was found, KARE 11 reported, “Mother Tammy Sadek believes her son was pressured into working for the task force, and was murdered.”
Immediately upon Valley News Live reporting similarities between the Jenna Stai and Andrew Sadek cases, the Grand Forks Herald reported Lt. Detective Rodney Hajicek, EGFPD, said Stai was not a confidential informant for the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force – or any task force to his knowledge.
The Herald further reported it was the EGFPD that reached out to the media to denounce the assertion published by Valley News that there was similarities between the two cases.
On February 6, 2015 Jenna Stai turned herself into the EGFPD.
Interestingly, after the EGFPD unabashedly requested the media provide coverage to their assertions that Jenna Stai was not an informant, including a video statement from Hajicek, which was published by the Grand Forks Herald, the EGFPD did not issue a standard press release to the media when she turned herself in.
Rather, the EGFPD made a post on the police department’s Facebook page and then refused to discuss it any further with reporters.
THE EAST GRAND FORKS POLICE DEPARTMENT – DEFENDANTS IN FEDERAL DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS LAWSUIT
EGF Police Chief Michael Hedlund – Lt. Detective Rodney Hajicek – Officer Aeisso Schrage
The formal complaint against Jenna Stai was filed by Lt. Detective Rodney Hajicek, EGFPD. Details in the complaint show EGFPD Officer Aeisso Schrage was involved in the sting operation Stai was caught up in.
Police Chief Michael Hedlund, Lt. Detective Rodney Hajicek, and Officer Aeisso Schrage are all defendants in Holmseth v. City of East Grand Forks et al. The lawsuit is filed under 42-U.S.C.-1983 and alleges law enforcement and government officials violated a litany of Holmseth’s constitutional rights while clothed in the Color of Law.
The federal lawsuit specifically details how the EGFPD used the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force to seize Holmseth’s computer hard-drive and journalism work-product.
The seized property, by Chief Hedlund’s own admission, disappeared from all records for over three months, because neither the EGFPD nor the Polk County Sheriff’s Office kept any Chain of Evidence documentation.
However, the administrator log for the seized hard-drive shows the computer was turned on while in police custody, but, at a time no law enforcement agency will admit possession of the hard-drive.
There are now rapidly growing concerns about the activities of the EGFPD as its embattled officers continue to utilize the federally supported Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force.
EAST GRAND FORKS POLICE DEPARTMENT’S INDIFFERNECE TO WELFARE OF MISSING CHILDREN AND TEENAGE GIRLS
The EGFPD’s history shows a reckless indifference toward missing children and teens.
In 2009, the FBI in Florida was searching for the missing child HaLeigh Cummings, 5. There was an Amber Alert for the kindergartner and the story dominated the national news.
In the summer of 2009, the FBI was acting on information they were receiving directly from Holmseth, an award-winning journalist living in East Grand Forks, Minnesota.
In March of 2009, Holmseth had begun communicating with the kidnapping suspects in real time as they moved the child from location to location. He was given a wealth of information regarding a criminal organization in Florida that involved murder, police corruption, child sex trafficking, drug trafficking, and child pornography.
Holmseth acquired information about individuals impersonating clergy, satanic child rituals, and the sale of infants through the United States Embassy using fake adoption records and forged medical documents.
Police records show that at the exact same time Holmseth was assisting the FBI, the FBI’s kidnapping suspects were contacting Hajicek at the EGFPD and asking him to use the police department to pressure Holmseth into shutting up.
Hajicek did just that.
Hajicek took extraordinary measures to assist the out of state group.
Records show Hajicek was communicating by email with Art Harris, a former CNN correspondent working for the missing child’s mother, Crystal Sheffield, as a “media consultant.” Harris was also the official journalist for Nancy Grace on the HaLeigh Cummings disappearance.
Records obtained from the Polk County Attorney’s Office show Hajicek strategically removed his side of all email correspondences between himself and Harris, and then sent the emails to Polk County Attorney Greg Widseth to see if there was a criminal charge Widseth could develop against Holmseth.
Despite the fact there was an active Amber Alert for HaLeigh Cummings, and the case was being covered nationally on the Today Show, Greta Van Susteren, Geraldo, Jane Valez Mitchell, Nancy Grace, and elsewhere, Hajicek did not contact the FBI regarding the strange efforts by a suspicious Florida group to have a law-abiding local journalist arrested.
Had Hajicek done what a normal police detective typically does, the FBI would have recognized Holmseth’s name immediately, because they were acting on leads from him.
Rather, Hajicek chose to assist the Florida group, which were the exact same individuals being investigated in Florida by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and FBI for the HaLeigh Cummings kidnapping.
Hajicek showed absolutely no concern whatsoever for the welfare of the missing five year old girl.
The EGFPD’s attitude toward innocent children was not an isolated incident. Evidence shows a pattern of very disturbing and unnatural conduct by the EGFPD against young teen girls.
During the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force raid executed against Holmseth by four armed police officers wearing bullet proof vests, EGFPD Officer T. Hart attempted to enter the bathroom where Holmseth’s teenage daughter was undressed and preparing to take a bath.
The teenager was already in the bathroom when the police arrived and had no idea what was going on or who was trying to get in. The young girl had to fight in a tug-a-war struggle to keep Hart, who appears to be approximately 6’ 6” and 270 pounds, from opening the door. When the minor child emerged and verbally protested, Schrage said, ‘You’re lucky you’re a minor or we would have kicked the door in’.
During the raid, Sgt. Detective Chris Olson, EGFPD, asked Holmseth’s daughter where she worked. The very next day, Olson appeared at Perkins in Grand Forks and the teenage girl had to wait on him.
Only a few days after Olson’s first and only time ever visit to the young girl’s place of employment, EGF City Attorney Ronald Galstad visited Perkins while the teenager was working.
During each stalking event, Holmseth’s daughter immediately telephoned her father to tell him what they were doing.
During the return of Holmseth’s seized property, Schrage boasted to Holmseth that he had seized his teenage daughter’s cell phone during the raid and read all of the very private text messages between her and her boyfriend.
Schrage appeared excited to talk about the nature of the private texts.
On another occasion, during class at East Grand Forks High School, Galstad’s daughter abruptly announced to the entire high school class that some ‘crazy guy’ reported her dad to the FBI, which caused Holmseth’s daughter to get up and leave in the middle of class.
The young girl still has nightmares about the police.
INDISPUTABLE EVIDENCE OF CORRUPTION
Indisputable evidence exists to prove the EGFPD, EGF City Attorney, and the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force have engaged in serious corruption.
The proof comes in the form of actual statements made by EGF City Attorney Ronald Galstad to State District Judge Tamara Yon in open court regarding Galstad’s professed relationship with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
When Holmseth’s seized property was returned by order of the court, the items were covered with evidence stickers that had been obtained from BCA.
However, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety and BCA, their agency played no role in the raid whatsoever and had absolutely no knowledge of it.
“The BCA had no role in the investigation you describe and did not attach any tags to evidence in that case,” said Jill Oliveira, public information officer, Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
The collaboration between Galstad, the EGFPD, and Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force was proven, when Galstad told Judge Yon in open court that he and his agents were working with the BCA.
“I’ve just been notified that the BCA, before they’ll do a forensic search of that computer, wants either an order of this Court or a search warrant that says that they can – – we got the original search warrant, but for whatever reason the BCA wants something that says that they can actually search that hard-drive. So I am going to be either, one, asking – – or requesting an additional warrant for forensic search of that computer hard-drive or the Court can make that Order as they see fit, but I am going to be doing that,” Galstad said.
Galstad was lying.
“We were not requested to conduct a forensic examination on your computer, said Drew Evans, assistant superintendent, BCA.
BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST
There is a growing outcry from citizens regarding the EGFPD and the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force.
Many of the concerns are appearing on social networking sites such as Facebook, where teenage girls in the age bracket of Jenna Stai and Holmseth’s daughter are becoming involved in expressing their feelings about the ongoing targeting of youth.
Many believe the EGFPD, Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force, and rogue government officials have betrayed the public’s trust, and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and Department of Justice need to intervene.