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16 arrested on the Red Lake Indian Reservation

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – U.S. Attorney Marty J. Jackley announced Nov. 6 that 16 individuals were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge James M. Rosenbaum, at Bemidji, Minn.

The defendants were part of a large-scale cocaine distribution conspiracy operating on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Following a thorough and comprehensive investigation, federal prosecutors obtained indictments that ultimately named 34 individuals and charged each with conspiracy.

Seven defendants were later charged by information with using a communication facility (telephone) in causing and facilitating the commission of a felony under the Controlled Substances Act.

Agencies involved in the investigation included the FBI, ATF, DEA, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Red Lake Police Department, Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, Paul Bunyan Task Force, Minneapolis Police Department, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Leech Lake Tribal Police Department, and Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Haak of Sioux Falls and the District of South Dakota’s U.S. Attorney’s Office because the District of Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney’s Office recused itself due to a potential conflict.

Two defendants were previously sentenced and charges were dismissed against one. Fifteen defendants are yet to be sentenced.