Missing Grand Forks woman was not informant; officer says case is not similar to Wahpeton student's death
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. - East Grand Forks police said Wednesday there is "nothing similar" between the cases of a missing 18-year-old woman and a man who died after working as an informant for authorities.
Jenna Eve Stai, of Grand Forks, was reported missing last week shortly after drug-related charges were filed against her in Minnesota 9th District Court in Crookston. Additional drug-related charges have since been levelled against her.
Lt. Rodney Hajicek met with reporters Wednesday to dispute a report that aired Tuesday evening on KVLY-TV of Fargo calling the cases of Stai and Andrew Sadek "eerily similar." The story didn't elaborate on what made the two cases similar, other than to say it's a "case of a teenager in the Valley disappearing after crossing paths with police drug informants."
Hajicek said Stai is not an informant herself and is not working with any drug task force to his knowledge.
Sadek, a North Dakota State College of Science student, quit working as a police informant before disappearing last year. His body was later found in the Red River.
Stai was charged late last month with two counts of fourth-degree sale of controlled substances, both felonies, in Minnesota 9th District Court in Crookston after allegedly selling synthetic drugs to a police informant, according to court records.
Additional charges were filed against her Tuesday -- one count of third-degree sale of controlled substances and one count of fifth-degree sale of controlled substances, both felonies -- for allegedly selling synthetic drugs, Molly and marijuana to a police informant, court records said.
Using a recording device, officers listened in on multiple occasions as the informants allegedly bought drugs from Stai throughout East Grand Forks, according to court records.
Officers sent the drugs the informants bought to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for testing, but police and prosecutors believe Stai was selling 2C-C-NBOMe, a synthetic drug similar to the one that her relative Elijah Stai took before fatally overdosing in June 2012, court records said.
During a search of Stai's vehicle, officers found about $1,500, 28 pills containing what officers thought to be Molly, a digital scale, two stun guns and about 5 ounces of marijuana, according to court records.
A warrant was issued for Stai's arrest on Monday after she did not show up to a court hearing. Grand Forks Police said earlier this week they believed there was no foul play in her disappearance, but that that could change if police received reliable information that suggests otherwise.
She is scheduled to appear in court for the first time on the most recent charges on Feb. 25.