Man accused in drug ring accused of alerting other suspects

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say a man accused in an international fentanyl-trafficking operation that led to the overdose death of a North Dakota man has ordered other defendants to keep quiet.

Daniel Vivas Ceron, a Colombian national who allegedly ran the enterprise from a Canadian prison, pleaded not guilty in Fargo Tuesday to obstruction of justice. An indictment says he wrote letters telling co-conspirators to remain silent and alerting other suspects about the investigation.

Vivas Ceron was charged earlier with five counts, including aiding in the distribution of fentanyl that resulted in the January 2015 death of 18-year-old Bailey Henke, of Grand Forks. Authorities say much of the fentanyl was manufactured in China.

Two Chinese nationals are charged in what authorities are calling one of the world’s most prolific fentanyl-trafficking and money-laundering operations.