BISMARCK (AP) - One of the suspects charged in a widespread drug investigation in the North Dakota oil patch was arrested earlier this month in California on murder and other charges, court documents show.
Spencer Rogers, 24, of Bakersfield, Calif., was among 22 people arrested in a North Dakota case dubbed Operation Pipe Cleaner, which was unsealed Wednesday. He is facing five counts, including drug conspiracy and weapons charges.
Documents in Kern County, Calif., show that Rogers was arrested earlier this month and charged with a dozen offenses, including first-degree murder, assault with a semi-automatic firearm and participating in a street gang. He is being held without bail.
Rogers and Walter Goodson, 38, were arrested on Jan. 14 in connection with the March 2013 shooting death in Bakersfield, Calif., of Kevin McMahan, 23. McMahan was shot inside a vehicle and died at a Bakersfield hospital.
The conspiracy in North Dakota allegedly involved the distribution of heroin, methamphetamine, crack cocaine, cocaine, marijuana and painkillers. Four people were arrested on weapons charges.
Rogers is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, possession of firearms by a convicted felon, two counts of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Another Bakersfield resident arrested in the conspiracy, Laverne Taylor, 30, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, two counts of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Court documents do not list lawyers for Rogers or Taylor
"Those who seek to engage in criminal activities will not be permitted to act with impunity in the Bakken oil patch," said Chris Warrener, special agent in charge of the FBI's Minneapolis office. "The FBI remains committed to assisting our state and local partners in making certain that the safety and well-being of the people of western North Dakota remains a priority."