He was a major methamphetamine dealer, now he owns a Fargo coffee shop
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – Shawn Gibree owns a thriving business in downtown Fargo. At one time, he was a methamphetamine supplier for one of the largest drug operations in the Red River Valley.
“I tried it, and the next thing I know, I was full-blown, became one of the biggest meth dealers in North Dakota.”
Gibree sold large quantities of methamphetamine to members and associates of the Gamboa family. Authorities have said the operation was responsible for the sale of up to 500 pounds of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of $18 million.
“When I first started, it was kind of fun, but then I got consumed into it, where it wasn’t fun, but I couldn’t really get out of it,” Gibree said.
Gibree drove thousands of miles, transporting methamphetamine and other drugs from Texas and California to the Fargo area.
“It sounds crazy, but it was like a thrill. Most people that use drugs—there’s a thrill to it. I don’t know if it’s a thrill that you’re breaking the law, like you’re getting away with things. I learned when I got clean this last time that part of my addiction was the thrill. Sometimes you’re more addicted to the game than you are, the actual drug.”
More than two decades ago, Gibree was arrested and charged in U.S. District Court in Fargo. He eventually reached a plea agreement and spent about three years in federal prison in Colorado, followed by four years of supervised release. Since then, he’s managed to clean up his life and now owns Babb’s Coffee House in Fargo.
“I wouldn’t have all this, and where my life’s at today if I wouldn’t have found God in that jail cell that night because it changed my whole mindset of thinking and how I view people and how I treat people.”
Gibree still has a tattoo that he’s worn since before he began his recovery. The tattoo says “Only God Can Judge Me.” “I got it because I was shooting up and I didn’t want people to see the bruises” Gibree said. “Because if I shot up right here, you wouldn’t see the bruise.”
These days, if Gibree isn’t working at his coffee shop, there’s a good chance that he’s doing volunteer work with the Jail Chaplains, a faith-based support program for inmates at the Cass County Jail.
“I’m a firm believer that for everything that’s been allowed for me to have, I have to give back. Because you have to have gratitude. If you don’t have gratitude, you don’t move ahead in life.”