FARGO, N.D. — A man convicted of leading a large methamphetamine ring in North Dakota and Minnesota and ordering the killing of a man as part of the conspiracy was sentenced Friday to two life prison terms.
A federal court jury in North Dakota in October convicted Modesto Torrez, 35, of Angus, Minnesota, on several charges including drug conspiracy and murder. He was sentenced Friday to consecutive life prison terms, and also ordered to forfeit more than $12,000 that authorities seized during the investigation.
Thirteen people were indicted in the drug ring, which authorities said distributed large quantities of methamphetamine in the two states and “used violence and the threat of violence to further the conspiracy.”
Krystal Feist, 32, of Grand Forks, North Dakota, pleaded guilty in February to charges including murder and was sentenced in late October to serve 30 years in prison.
Feist shot and killed 24-year-old Austin Forsman in March 2016 while Forsman sat in a vehicle at a Grand Forks truck stop, on orders from Torrez, according to U.S. Attorney Chris Myers.
Then-U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in October 2016 decided against seeking the death penalty against Feist and Torrez. Federal prosecutors didn’t comment on the reasoning for the decision.