2 charged with fentanyl trafficking in Red Lake Nation

RED LAKE, Minn. – Two men have been indicted by a federal grand jury, charged with distributing fentanyl in the Red Lake Nation.

According to court documents, in March 2021, Christopher Douglas Richard, 40, of Detroit, Michigan, conspired with others to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl in and around the Red Lake Nation. In a separate indictment on April 30, 2021, Leroy Varney, 52, of Bemidji, allegedly possessed more than 40 grams of fentanyl with the intention of distributing it in and around the Red Lake Nation.

Richard was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and other controlled substances and one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and other controlled substances. Varney is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

These cases are the result of investigations by the Red Lake Department of Public Safety, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, and the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force.

These cases are being pursued by Assistant US Prosecutor Deidre Aanstad and Special Assistant US Prosecutor Angelica Ramirez.

An indictment is only an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

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