DULUTH, Minn. - Twelve people are under federal indictment in connection with a large-scale drug operation that moved heroin from Chicago to the Twin Ports of Duluth-Superior.

U.S. Attorney Gregory Booker announced the charges Thursday, naming 33-year-old Carlos Nashun Coleman of Apple Valley as the main heroin distributor. Authorities allege that Coleman and the other 11 defendants ran the operation from March of 2017 to the present.

Duluth Police Lieutenant Jeff Kazel, Commander of the Lake Superior Drug and & Violent Crime Task Force, estimates the amount of heroin removed from the streets in the "multi-kilos" with a value of more than $1 million. An additional 20 defendants are charged at the state level, with at least seven more warrants to execute.

“This is a very significant operation," asserted Kazel. "This is not just touching Duluth, this is touching the iron range, this is touching hibbing, this is touching virginia, this is touching Superior, this is touching the reservation at Fond Du Lac. “

At a news conference Thursday morning Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken acknowledged the struggle law enforcement has with busting up major drug operations, only to have a new dealer step in to fill the supply void. Still, he warned those criminals who would take the risk that they will be the next ones to fall.

"If you’re going to follow in the footsteps of these defendants, please note it will be you next," said Tusken. "We have the expertise, determination, partnerships and focus to interrupt, intercept, and arrest anyone, anywhere who dares to come to this community and profit from bringing pain to our citizens."

Coleman is charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin and distribution of heroin. The others named in the indictment are:

BERNARD BRANDON MIMS, a/k/a “Lil B,” 38

Superior, WI

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count
  • Distribution of heroin, 28 counts
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin, 5 counts

CRYSTAL BROOKE STARSTEAD, 35

Superior, WI

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count
  • Distribution of heroin, 5 counts
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin, 4 counts

CAZEMBE OSIE FRANKLIN, a/k/a “MC Snake,” 44

Aurora, MN

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin, 1 count

KENNETH SKY QUADE, a/k/a “Q,” 24

Address Unknown

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin, 1 count

DANIEL ALBERT AMATUZIO, JR, 29

Address Unknown

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin, 3 counts

BENJAMIN MICHAEL WOODBURY, a/k/a “Woody,” 27

Address Unknown

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin, 1 count

DAMIEN DEANDRE BURNETT, a/k/a “Luck,” 33

Address Unknown

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin, 1 count

LAVINA NICOLE SHANNON, a/k/a “Satin,” 40

Address Unknown

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin, 1 count

JOSEPH DANTE WILLIAMS, 28

Address Unknown

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin, 3 counts

CHEVELLA DAWN KORKALO, 23

Address Unknown

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin, 1 count

ERIN MARIE ALHACHEM, 27

Address Unknown

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin, 1 count

All federal defendants are expected to make their first appearances in court in the coming week.