FARGO, N.D. — One of two people charged in North Dakota with murder in connection with a large drug ring in the Upper Midwest has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.
Krystal Feist, 32, of Grand Forks, was sentenced Tuesday on charges including murder in furtherance of a drug trafficking conspiracy, according to North Dakota U.S. Attorney Chris Myers. Feist pleaded guilty in February in the March 2016 death of 24-year-old Austin Forsman.
Authorities say Feist shot Forsman while he sat in a vehicle at a Grand Forks truck stop.
Modesto Torrez, 35, of Angus, Minnesota, was accused of ordering the killing. A federal court jury in Fargo convicted him last month of charges that included murder in furtherance of a drug trafficking conspiracy. He’s to be sentenced Dec. 1
The investigation into Forsman’s death resulted in the indictment of 13 people in connection with what authorities allege was a drug ring that distributed large quantities of methamphetamine in North Dakota and Minnesota, and “used violence and the threat of violence to further the conspiracy.”
Authorities allege Torrez led the drug ring.
Feist and Torrez were eligible for the death penalty because the shooting involved a drug deal. The government decided last year not to exercise that option but prosecutors didn’t say why. That left the maximum punishment for both suspects at life in prison without parole.