Staff Directory 298000161

Stephen Montemayor

Reporter | U.S. District Court and federal agencies
Phone: 612-673-1755
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None
A native of Kansas City, Montemayor lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two cats. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism and enjoys camping, travel and a good beer.
Recent content from Stephen Montemayor
About two months after taking office, new U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald’s priorities for Minnesota are coming into clearer view with the formation o

New approaches to counterextremism, Indian communities among priorities of Minnesota's U.S. attorney

U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald outlined her priorities as she settles in as the state's top federal law enforcement official.
Peteris Sahurovs

Latvian hacker who targeted Star Tribune website visitors sentenced to 33 months in federal prison

Malware virus planted on Star Tribune website led to international manhunt.
Farass Adnan Ali (Facebook)

Rochester man challenging ICE detention

Former elite military member has been jailed for 16 months, but no charges have been filed.
Eric Tostrud

Minneapolis lawyer, professor Eric Tostrud confirmed as Minnesota's latest federal judge

Tostrud will give Minnesota's federal bench the first complete set of full-time judges since 2016.
Judy Garland's stolen ruby slippers were recovered in a sting operation earlier this summer after disappearing 13 years ago from the Judy Garland Muse

The famed ruby slippers are home, but the culprit is still out there

The slippers were found in Minneapolis, a year after a credible tip to police.
A deal brokered by U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (left) has judges Nancy Brasel and Eric Tostrud in line to sit on Minnesota's federal bench.

Rare deal has Minn. court on verge of filling two vacant seats

A deal to fast-track votes on a batch of Trump's federal district court nominees has Hennepin County Judge Nancy Brasel and Minneapolis lawyer and law professor Eric Tostrud poised to help fill a pair of vacancies that had been deemed "judicial emergencies."

FBI: Robbery crew made off with at least $69,000 in pills from Twin Cities Walgreen

Feds arrested Indianapolis man linked to monthlong robbery spree last week. Status of other suspects unclear.

Chicago man found bound in St. Paul faked abduction to gain citizenship, FBI says

Alejandro Mario Cortes allegedly sought to get a visa for being a crime victim.

Excelsior renewable energy business owner convicted of $13M fraud scheme

Prosecutors had charged Shawn Robert Dooling with defrauding more than 70 customers.
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2016 file photo, protesters demonstrating against the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline wade in cold creek waters confron

Dakota Access protester hurt by blast loses bid to retrieve seized items from FBI

FBI agents described probe of Sophia Wilansky's injury as still ongoing.
ATF agent Nic Garlie gave some love to his dogs Brock, left, and Taylor at the end of a training session.

New ATF bomb dog in St. Paul got its start from behind bars

Taylor joined ATF after being raised in "Puppies Behind Bars" program.
Bob Ivers

Former Hopkins mayoral candidate awaiting trial after alleged threat to kill federal judge

Robert Phillip Ivers, 65, alarmed residents after using racist language at candidate forum last year.
Rep. Keith Ellison spoke Friday about the domestic abuse allegations that were brought against him.

DFL leaders endorse Ellison for Minnesota attorney general

In a speech to a packed auditorium of delegates in Cambridge, Ellison again denied abusing ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan.

Former U.S. probation officer at center of sex abuse allegations indicted over lying to FBI

Three women came forward against Dennis Edward Bresnahan, charged with lying and destroying evidence during FBI's 2016 probe.
Chad Monson

Willmar man pleads guilty to illegal weapons possession after bombs, machine guns found on property

Attorney for Chad Lee Monson said talk of bomb threats was "blown out of proportion."
After a nearly two-year vacancy, Mona Dohman, Minnesota’s public safety commissioner, ahs been nominated to be the next U.S. marshal for the distric

Trump picks Minnesota's public safety commissioner for U.S. marshal

Position in the agency's Minnesota office has been open since 2016.
Macrina Perez

Young meth cell ringleader linked to record Minnesota bust pleads guilty

Prosecutors described Macrina Perez, 25, as being "as connected to Mexican drug cartels" as anyone ever charged in the state.
Janette Hansen Strathy

Janette Hansen Strathy, physician and women's health advocate, dies at 62

Janette Hansen Strathy had delivered at least 6,500 babies over more than 30 years at the Park Nicollet Medical Center. But when asked to describe…
Tom Petters is introduced by President of Petters Aviation at an event in 2008.

DOJ: More than $16M makes its way to Petters' fraud victims

More than $16 million seized in connection with Tom Petters' massive Ponzi scheme is now being returned to hundreds of victims around the world, the U.S. Justice Department announced Monday.
Defendants in the Minneapolis ISIS trial are, from left, Abdirahman Yasin Daud, Mohamed Farah, Guled Omar

Appeals court upholds sentences for three Twin Cities men in ISIS case

Mohamed Farah, Abdirahman Daud and Guled Ali Omar were the only 3 of 9 defendants to stand trial in nation's largest counterterrorism prosecution.
Christensen Farms CEO Glenn Stolt spoke about his surprise about the ICE raid and his frustration with the media coverage not being entirely accurate

Big Minnesota pork producer 'surprised' by immigration raids

Christensen Farms says third-party vendor may have hired illegal workers.
FILE - In this December, 2015 photo provided by the Anoka County Sheriff's Office in Andover, Minn., shows Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, of Eagan, Minn.

Minneapolis man sentenced in ISIS case gets extra time at halfway house for gambling on soccer matches

Abdirizak Warsame is second to be released from federal prison after nation's biggest terror probe.
William De Roo Ramirez

Mexican man caught with 158 pounds of meth bound for Minnesota given 10-year sentence

William De Roo-Ramirez, 26, helped lead authorities to Twin Cities traffickers taking orders from Sinaloa cartel.

Former Minneapolis FBI agent who leaked files to be sentenced in October

Terry James Albury pleaded guilty to leaking classified documents.
Scientists at the BCA have had to take extra precautions including having doses of Narcan available when processing seized narcotics because of the su

Minnesota carfentanil case nets nearly 7-year sentence

In midst of carfentanil fatalities, federal judge lowers the boom.
A building that housed Michael Hari's business is seen Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Clarence, Ill. Hari, a former sheriff's deputy, is accused of bei

FBI: Minnesota mosque bomber took orders from 'higher-ups'

The Illinois weapons trial has been moved to November. The three men charged face charges in Minnesota, too.
Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart is also named in the lawsuit.

Judge: Federal suit by Ramsey woman turned over to ICE after fender-bender can proceed

Judge John Tunheim calls allegations "precisely" type of conduct that sows immigrants' distrust of law enforcement.
Prosecutors are on track to charge more than 110 defendants in federal gun cases for the 2018 fiscal year in Minnesota.

Minneapolis led a sustained spike in ATF gun traces for Minn. in 2017

ATF said that it traced 3,662 firearms in Minnesota last year, up 14 percent from 2016 and the most reported in the state to date.
Judge Gunnar Nordbye’s granddaughter Andrea Bassett and great-great grandson Gunnar Bassett posed with the judge’s newly hung portrait in the chie

Posthumous portraits preserve Minnesota's federal court's history

The four portraits commemorate federal judges in Minnesota who have long since passed.

Maplewood dentist accused of issuing scores of illegitimate painkiller doses

Dr. Jerry Kent Brunsoman is also accused of failing to keep records of opioid inventory, including fentanyl.
Sherrie Dirk

Minn. couple charged with murder in death of foster child, 3

Girl's weight had plummeted just weeks before Nov. 2017 death, prosecutors say.
Eric James Reinbold

Minnesotan who wrote of 'armed rebellion' convicted of having pipe bombs

Eric James Reinbold allegedly etched out recipes for explosives, wanted to spark "2nd American Revolution."
Eric Reinbold

Prosecutor: Man on trial in Minn. pipe bomb case wrote of 'armed rebellion'

Notebook and cache of pipe bombs are at issue in federal trial of Eric James Reinbold, 41, of Oklee, Minn.
A Fridley man claimed in a court filing that Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart denied him a permit to carry a firearm due to “discrimination based o

Fridley man at center of FBI terror probe battles in court for a gun permit

The highly unusual case seeks to test the limits of how much discretion officials have in denying permits to carry to those without criminal convictions.
Erica MacDonald recently took office as Minnesota’s new U.S. attorney.

Families not far from mind of new Minnesota U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald

Former Dakota County judge hopes to have a voice on national security and American Indian issues.
U.S. Judge David Stras, a former Minnesota Supreme Court justice, in a 2018 Star Tribune file photo.

Anthony Kennedy retirement returns David Stras to Supreme Court speculation

Trump has kept the Eighth Circuit judge among his possible nominees since 2016.
Ryan Gilbertson

Jury convicts Dakota Plains co-founder, associate in $30M stock manipulation scheme

Two who ran oil services firm were accused in stock manipulation scheme.

Minn. prisoner transport officer accused of sexually assaulting female inmate

A Bovey, Minn., man working for a private prisoner transport agency has been charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a female prisoner during her multiday, cross-country…
Three Illinois men who allegedly bombed a Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in August 2017 have been charged with federal civil rights and hate crime viola

Federal hate crime charges added in bombing of Bloomington mosque

Three Illinois militia members now face civil rights and hate crime allegations.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Robert Patterson, left, speaks in Omaha, Neb., Thursday, June 7, 2018, in front of Neb. Gov.

New federal Drug Enforcement Administration division pairs Minnesota with Great Plains states

Meth trafficking is among the leading targets of new five-state federal office.
The FBI’s new special agent in charge for Minneapolis, Jill Sanborn, brings with her an extensive background in terrorism investigations and is one

FBI's Minneapolis office plans diversity recruitment push

The FBI's Diversity Agent Recruitment initiative will come to Minneapolis for the first time this year on Aug. 2.
Protesters wore orange ponchos in solidarity with the three men who were convicted in plotting to join ISIS. The men are appearing before a three-judg

Murder conspiracy challenged in appeals by 3 Twin Cities men convicted in ISIS plot

Scores of supporters watched oral arguments in St. Paul on Thursday.
Chad Monson

Willmar man indicted after raid unearthed arsenal

The indictment says authorities seized 10 machine guns, silencers and pipe bombs, and that Chad Lee Monson talked of bombing homes of a judge and two attorneys.
Erica H. MacDonald, the new U.S. attorney for Minnesota, takes the oath of office from U.S. District Court Chief Judge John R. Tunheim on June 11, 201

Minn. once again has a presidentially appointed U.S. attorney

Filling Andrew Luger's long-vacant post, she returns to familiar office.

Affidavit reveals Twin Cities man's aborted try to join ISIS last year

The Spring Lake Park 19-year-old spent three months abroad before coming home in 2017 due to a lack of funds.

Appeals court to take up case of 3 Twin Cities men sentenced to decades in prison for ISIS recruitment plot

3 Twin Cities men are now in prison for conspiring to support terrorist group.
Dakota County District Judge Erica MacDonald to be the next U.S. attorney for Minnesota.

Senate confirms Dakota County judge as Minnesota's new U.S. attorney

President Trump nominated Erica MacDonald to replace Andrew Luger last month.
Rhoda Gilman

Rhoda R. Gilman, historian and Green Party activist, dies at 91

She was tasked with helping refresh Minnesota's history curriculum for schoolchildren in the 1980s.
Marco Avila

Rochester meth boss kept trafficking even after arrest

Marco Avila's meth empire didn't crumble when he was caught more than two years ago in South Dakota with a drug load destined for Minnesota.
The FBI's new special agent in charge for Minneapolis, Jill Sanborn, who brings with her an extensive background in terrorism investigations and is on

Veteran agent digging in as new leader of FBI in Mpls.

Barely three months into her new post as an FBI supervisor in Los Angeles in 2015, Jill Sanborn had just sat down for a holiday…
Judge Diana Murphy

Federal judges, elected officials remember Diana Murphy

Murphy, who died Wednesday, was the first woman on Minnesota federal bench and on the region's federal appeals court.
Perez

Young mom of 2 is CEO of huge Minn. meth cell, prosecutors say

Authorities say Macrina Perez, arrested in April, is connected to Mexican drug trade.
In this April photo, Mona Dohman, commissioner of public safety, testifies on opioid abuse during a hearing before a Minnesota Senate committee on fin

Minnesota public safety commissioner is leading candidate for U.S. marshal job

Dayton appointee Mona Dohman, who has led department since 2011, is a former police chief and graduate of Quantico.
Tnuza Jamal Hassan, 19, a former student at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, who admitted to investigators that she started fires on the campus.

Evidence in FBI probe of former St. Kate's student includes package allegedly sent from Islamic scholar in Malaysia

All but one of nine search warrants for Tnuza Hassan's property remain sealed.
Tnuza Jamal Hassan

St. Kate's terror case highlights lack of early intervention

What could have been done in the months before the arrest on arson charges of Tnuza Hassan? She had told an agent then that she wanted to join al-Qaida and, when pressed by an FBI agent, conceded that she would be willing to kill if ordered.
Undated photos from the Ford County Sheriff's Office in Paxton, Ill., show Michael Hari, left, and Michael McWhorter.

Militia accused in Bloomington mosque bombing charged in new Illinois indictment

"White Rabbits" allegedly formed the same month as attack on Dar Al-Farooq.
State and federal investigators in Minnesota intercepted almost 1,500 pounds of meth last year — four times the total seized five years ago.

How Mexican cartels turned Minnesota into a meth hub

In the shadow of the opioid crisis, meth has roared back into Minnesota. And it's cheaper and deadlier than ever.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson

Mpls. man granted new federal trial after juror's racial remarks

Comment during jury's deliberation scrutinized.
Prince, center, entered the clinic of Dr. Michael Schulenberg's clinic on April 20, 2016. Kirk Johnson is behind Prince.

Those close to Prince worried about his use of painkillers for years

The star's insistence on privacy may have kept help at bay.
Police in South Padre Island, Texas, said Lois Ann Riess was arraigned early Saturday, April 21, in municipal court and is being held in the Cameron C

Florida seeks extradition of Minnesota grandma accused of killing two

Minnesotan is accused of killing husband, then Florida woman.
Carver County Attorney Mark Metz announced Thursday that he was closing the two-year investigation into the death of musician Prince Rogers Nelson wit

No criminal charges as Prince death investigation is closed

Investigators were unable to determine who provided Prince the fentanyl painkillers, disguised as counterfeit prescription tablets, that killed the megastar in 2016. Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg will pay a $30,000 fine as part of a settlement with the DEA.
Prince fans Kim Barrington and Linda Lord flew to the Twin Cities this weekend for the second anniversary of Prince's death, taking turns photographin

Prince: A high-profile casualty to scourge of fentanyl-laced pills

The megastar unknowingly took counterfeit Vicodin painkillers that actually contained fentanyl. In so doing, he appears to have become another casualty to a worrying trend.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson

Right-to-die group sues Minnesota attorney general over 2015 criminal conviction

Group's attorneys claim a Minnesota statute violated its free speech rights.

Minnesota FBI agent who leaked secret documents pleads guilty

Terry J. Albury appeared in court and said giving reporter classified data was "act of conscience."
Tnuza Jamal Hassan

Ex-St. Kate's student facing terrorism charges will stay detained ahead of trial

Magistrate judge pointed to evidence of alleged pressure cooker bomb recipe as concerning.
Michael McWhorter, left, and Michael Hari

Minnesota prosecutors have until June to indict alleged mosque bombers

Alleged militia members not expected in Minn. until Illinois case resolved.
Richard Thornton, former Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Minneapolis, is becoming the vice president of law enforcement and operations at the Fe

Former local FBI head taking law enforcement role at Minneapolis Fed

Richard Thornton to lead Federal Reserve Bank's law enforcement.
Colleen Ronnei’s son Luke died in 2016 of an overdose at home in Chanhassen. She speaks to young people, helping the FBI sound the alarm about addic

In grief, Chanhassen mother tells son's story to warn about addiction

Colleen Ronnei brings a warning — and hope — to young people in her work with the FBI and a drug court judge to freshen up outreach efforts.
Michael McWhorter, left, and Michael Hari

Suspects in Bloomington mosque bombing to remain in Illinois until case there resolved

Michael Hari, Michael McWhorter and Joseph Morris, all of Clarence, Ill., have been in federal custody since their March 13 arrests.
Tnuza Jamal Hassan has been in federal custody since her January arrest after allegedly setting a series of fires on the campus of St. Catherine Unive

Prosecutors: St. Kate's blueprints, terror propaganda on phone of woman accused of supporting Al-Qaida

Government arguing against early release of Tnuza J. Hassan
FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2017, file photo, a early morning runner crosses in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Minnesota federal judicial nominees tested on Capitol Hill

Hennepin County judge, law professor among nominees considered by Senate Judiciary Committee.

Man arrested after Facebook post threatened to bomb St. Cloud City Hall — and tagged FBI

Bag with no explosives found outside the building. No public safety threat at this time, police say.
Dakota County District Judge Erica MacDonald to be the next U.S. attorney for Minnesota.

Trump taps Dakota County judge to be next U.S. attorney for Minn.

Erica MacDonald was chosen to fill the vacant federal post.
This photo provided by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office shows Tnuza Jamal Hassan.

Attorneys make pitch for release of Twin Cities woman accused setting fires at St. Catherine, supporting Al-Qaida

Tnuza Hassan was arrested after allegedly setting fires at St. Kate's in January.

Former Minn. FBI agent charged with leaking document to news outlet

The Justice Department accused the agent of leaking a memo outlining how the FBI assesses possible informants. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a broad crackdown on government leaks last year.
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