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Published May 23, 2012, 12:39 PM

Man accused of stalking wife, kids through four states to face firearms charges in North Dakota

North Dakota -- Charges filed in Duluth against a man accused of stalking his wife and children through four states have been dismissed because there is insufficient evidence he committed a crime here, but he has been indicted by a North Dakota grand jury for being a felon in possession of a firearm during the period of the alleged stalking.

North Dakota -- Charges filed in Duluth against a man accused of stalking his wife and children through four states have been dismissed because there is insufficient evidence he committed a crime here, but he has been indicted by a North Dakota grand jury for being a felon in possession of a firearm during the period of the alleged stalking.

Charges filed in Duluth against a man accused of stalking his wife and children through four states have been dismissed because there is insufficient evidence he committed a crime here, but he has been indicted by a North Dakota grand jury for being a felon in possession of a firearm during the period of the alleged stalking.

Nathaniel Michael Norris, also known by the last name Jaffe-Norris, 26, is being held in Fargo, N.D., awaiting a June 26 trial, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Schneider, who is prosecuting the case. Schneider said Norris faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

According to the indictment, grand jurors found that Norris was in possession of a firearm as a convicted felon between March 1 and April 11.

Norris’ wife had told Duluth police that he had “been shooting up steroids” and she couldn’t take his abuse anymore when she fled with her children, first from Utah to North Dakota, then to Montana, then back to North Dakota and finally Duluth, staying at shelters, with acquaintances, friends and at motels along the way. She said her husband stalked her for about three weeks before having another man kidnap her and the children from outside a Duluth church on April 4.

According to the state’s criminal complaint, the man drove the woman and children to Detroit Lakes, where Norris met them at a motel. Officers from several law enforcement agencies in Detroit Lakes responded to the motel and took Norris into custody.

Norris was arraigned in State District Court in Duluth on April 9 on charges of kidnapping, pattern of stalking and four counts of aiding and abetting kidnapping. He has prior convictions for terrorizing, being a felon in possession of a firearm and battery. He was held on $450,000 bail.

Schneider said Norris was held on the state charges until April 19 when an arrest warrant was issued on the federal charge and he was picked up by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The state charges were dismissed on May 4.

“In order to successfully prosecute a case, the state must prove that some essential element of the offense occurred in St. Louis County,” said Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Kristen Swanson. “Subsequent investigation revealed that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the criminal acts alleged actually occurred here in Duluth.”

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