Grand Forks Herald caught deceiving the public to protect organized crime

Wholesale deception of the public by Forum Communications Company

by Timothy Charles Holmseth on April 19, 2015 at 7:34 P.M.

The Grand Forks Herald has been caught in the act of deceiving the public regarding criminal activity occurring in the region. 

Overwhelming evidence shows the Herald has breached the public trust and created a public safety issue through improper relationships with law enforcement.

The Herald’s editorial staff possesses information regarding criminal activity and organized violence associated with the drug trafficking underground, which it has carefully guarded from the public.

The Herald has possessed and witheld critical information from the public for years.

The deception is egregious and has created an on-going threat to public safety due to the Herald’s perceived status as a trusted source of news and information.

Documents and evidence shows the Herald has misled the public on the most critical of news matters, such as drug trafficking, police abuse, and murder.

The Herald, a private enterprise, is being used as an information delivery system for the purpose of deceiving the public, while protecting and cloaking the criminal activities of specific individuals involved in very serious felonies.


The Herald was contacted by a former police officer that possessed troves of information regarding corruption, drug trafficking, murder cover-ups, and police abuse of suspects and prisoners.

By industry standard, the information is so powerful and compelling that the Herald could never ignore it without an ulterior motive.

According to the whistleblower, the Herald was provided audio of Lt. Detective Rodney Hajicek, East Grand Forks Police Department (EGFPD), discussing a violent assault of a hand-cuffed prisoner that he (Hajicek) witnessed take place at the EGF police station.

Hajicek is the ranking the police officer at the EGFPD.

The details are extremely disturbing.

Hajicek witnessed another police officer, Sgt. Curt Ellingson, EGFPD (retired), smash a hand-cuffed prisoner’s head repeatedly against a cement wall. Ellingson also stood on the prisoner’s chest and throat with his boots; shoved his nose bone up into his head; and gauged his eyes.

The whistleblower said Jim Grabanski, EGFPD (retired), told another officer to get rid of the surveillance tape.

On the audio, Hajicek admits he witnessed the abuse of the prisoner, but then vows to keep his mouth shut if questioned by investigators.

The Herald took no action regarding any of the information and kept it from the public.

The Herald could play the audio to the public at any time - but doesn't.


In July, 2014, the Herald was notified of a federal deprivation of rights lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by a local journalist (Timothy Charles Holmseth- this writer) against select public officials, police officers, and attorneys that conspired to violate his constitutional rights.

Timothy Holmseth did not know the former police officer that had provided the information about corruption to the Herald nor is it mentioned in his formal complaint.  

Holmseth’s complaint alleges attorneys, police officers, sheriff’s officers, and the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force conspired to seize his computer and hard-drive so his journalistic work-product could be illegally secretly searched.

Hajicek is named as a defendant in Holmseth v. City of East Grand Forks et al and is a key player in the scheme.

Despite the allegations made by Holmseth against Hajicek in the federal deprivation of rights lawsuit, buttressing the information the Herald already received about Hajicek from the former police officer; the Herald published nothing regarding Hajicek or the federal lawsuit.


In January, 2015, Jenna Stai, 18, became the subject of a missing person investigation after she suddenly vanished.

Concerns about Stai’s safety stemmed from similarities that appeared between her case, and the Andrew Sadek case in Wahpeton, North Dakota. Sadek was a young college student found dead after he worked with a drug task force as a confidential informant.

According to court records, Stai sold drugs to a confidential informant working for the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force.

Stai’s mother said she has been cooperating with authorities and was afraid.

Valley News Live reported there were similarities between the Sadek and Stai cases.

On February 4, 2015, the Herald published an on-camera interview with Hajicek so he could refute and squelch any rumors created by the Valley News Live story that Stai was an informant.

Hajicek was given a full media platform by Forum Communications, which Hajicek promptly used to publicly state Stai was not an informant for the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force, to his knowledge, and stressed there was nothing similar regarding the cases.

Hajicek's credibility has never been challenged by the Herald.

The Herald’s choice to ignore irrefutable audio evidence that Hajicek is a devoted and polished liar, while quickly giving Hajicek airtime to address rumors about the Pine to Prairie Gang and Drug Task Force, betray an allegiance the Herald owes that supersedes public safety.  


On February 28, 2015, David James Elliott, an un-armed man, was shot in front of the Altru Hospital Emergency Room by a University of North Dakota police officer.

The mysterious case is under investigation by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

Meanwhile, several Grand Forks Police Department (GFPD) officers are on administrative leave, including Sgt. Mark Ellingson.

Sgt. Mark Ellingson is family to Odney Ellingson and Curt Ellingson, EGFPD (retired).

Curt Ellingson is the police officer that allegedly beat the hand-cuffed prisoner’s head against the cement wall.


The Herald cites the newspaper’s mission statement with a quote from its founder George Winship, "It will be the people's paper, run strictly in their interests, guarding jealously their rights and maintaining boldly their cause."

The Herald’s claim is fraudulent because the newspaper is not published in the "interest" of the public and the "cause" of the publication is to protect criminals that have organized against the citizens.

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