Agencies Conduct Major Drug Bust in Beltrami County
A man who authorities believe is the ring leader of a methamphetamine trafficking organization has landed behind bars. Phillip Eugene Gurzi and three other people were arrested on Tuesday fro their alledged involvement in a drug smuggling and distribution enterprise in the Bemidji area.
It all started when Paul Bunyan Drug Task force agents received a tip that 54-year-old Gurzi was distributing meth out of his home in Puposky. Task Force Commissioner Gary Pederson said, “When you have a group that sells drugs, no matter what they are, you’ll have to have somebody at the top of the pyramid and then have people below them who are mid-level or lower level dealers and distributors.”
Authorities say Gurzi distributed meth throughout Northern Minnesota with the help of Tamara Sue Halverson, Shawn Elston Jackson, and Raymond Jesse Nibbe. Law enforcement officials used informants to gather information during the investigation, and according to the criminal complaint, one informant purchased meth in Gurzi’s garage on Turtle Estates Court, parking lots, and other homes.
Several search warrants seizing cash, vehicles, and other evidence ultimately led to the four suspects arrest. Gurzi, Jackson, and Nibbe face first degree sales charges, while Halverson faces a conspiracy to distribute meth charge.
Authorities are still investigating and are hoping to gain more evidence to arrest other people involved in the operation in the future.