UPDATE: 9 detained, 4 arrested after SWAT standoff

SWAT surround a house a in south Fargo.
SWAT surround a house a in south Fargo.(Gillian Trudeau, VNL)
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 7:06 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2022 at 5:56 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Nine people were detained and four people arrested on Tuesday morning after the SWAT team, Cass County Drug Task Force and Fargo Police surrounded a house in south Fargo for a high-risk search warrant.

Police say they went to the home in the 900 block of 5th Street South around 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26 for the warrant.

A perimeter was set up and authorities tried to use a flash-bang to get the people out of the home. Initially, no one surrendered and police secured the area around the home.

About an hour later, police were able to get the people out of the home and detained. Four were arrested and taken to the Cass County Jail for the following charges:

  • Jeffery Higdem, a 38-year-old with no permanent address, was arrested on warrants for Burglary, Possession of Narcotics and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Cass County) and Misdemeanor Fleeing (West Fargo)
  • Ronald Chasing Bear, a 33-year-old of Moorhead, was arrested on warrants for two counts of Felony Domestic Assault (Clay County)
  • Jennifer Lay, a 45-year-old of Fargo, was arrested for warrants for Probation Violation and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Cass County)
  • Holly Parisien, a 41-year-old of Fargo, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine
Ronald Chasing Bear, Jennifer Fay, Jeff Higdem, Holly Parisien
Ronald Chasing Bear, Jennifer Fay, Jeff Higdem, Holly Parisien(Valley News Live)

This investigation is on-going and additional charges are possible.

In less than four years, FPD say officers have responded to 169 calls for service at the house, and neighbors say large busts like Tuesday morning have been happening for years.

“They constantly have different people just living there, moving in and moving out. It’s just a high-traffic area. It’s a safe haven for addicts doing criminal things so, I can see why a lot of neighbors don’t want that there,” Briana Page said.

A recovering meth addict, Page says she lived in the home on 5th St. S. for months and described the house as a place people use to consume their drugs more than anything else.

“There’s just a lot of addicts that come in and out of there,” she said.

Page says when she woke up Tuesday morning, she wasn’t surprised to see police ended up at the home’s cluttered front yard once again. She says it won’t be the last unless something changes, which she says is up to both the city and the community to step up.

“The main thing would be to help the addicts. Help the addicts living there and help the people in and out from there. If us as a community can support recovery, more than we support an addict being a criminal, I think a lot would change,” Page said.

She says she agrees the home should be placed into the hands of different owners, but says without extending a helping hand to those who find a sort of safe haven in the home on 5th St. S., the problem will just move to a different part of town.

Every addict wants to be in recovery they just have to figure out how they can help their mental health before they help their addiction,” she said.

The City of Fargo Inspections Department says it has evaluated the home and identified multiple issues related to mold, foundation and structural stability, wiring and overall cleanliness and habitability.

The city has now labeled the structure a ‘dangerous building’ and a perimeter of up to six feet in height has been ordered to be erected around the property. No one is allowed to enter the property or to continue living in the residence.

According to the City of Fargo, the property owner is allowed 30 days to obtain the necessary permits to improve the residence and bring into compliance with City Code.

If after 30 days these actions remain uncompleted, The City of Fargo Inspections Department will bring the issue to the City Commission. The Commission can then consider ordering the structure’s removal within a specified timeframe by the homeowner. If the homeowner fails to do so, The City of Fargo has the ability to remove the structure from the property.

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