Eight Individuals Charged In Mille Lacs Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the unsealing of a federal indictment charging eight individuals with conspiracy to distribute heroin on the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation.

According to the ten-count indictment, from December 2017 through June 2018, TYRONE JAMES NELSON, 38, ROBERT DONTELL SYKES, 48, and DAVID LEE SNODDY, 36, RAMON FORD, 58, DEVONN ROSE MITCHELL, 23, KRISTIN RAE BOYD, 28, DUWAYNE IVAN SCHWENSEN, 26, and CHASE REED NICKABOINE, 20, knowingly conspired with each other to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin. The defendants are charged with conspiracy and heroin distribution.

“Here in Minnesota, and around the nation, our Native American communities have been disproportionately affected by heroin and opioid abuse. This is unacceptable. My office and our law enforcement partners remain aggressive in our approach to stopping those who infiltrate our communities with this poison,” said U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald.

“The Band is very grateful for the critical assistance provided by Bureau of Indian Affairs and federal law enforcement officers, and the U.S. Attorney,” said Mille Lacs Band Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin. “I would especially like to thank our Mille Lacs Tribal Police force. They have done outstanding work in leading this effort with our federal partners to address the drug epidemic on our Reservation.”

“The Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Drug Enforcement (BIA DDE) was instrumental in the investigation,” said Mille Lacs Band Chief of Police Sara Rice. “We worked hand-in-hand with the BIA DDE drug agents. They were incorporated into our department throughout the entire process of investigation during this case. Several other agencies assisted in the lengthy investigation of this conspiracy case. Thank you to the investigators from Mille Lacs, Crow Wing and Sherburne county sheriff’s offices, Lakes Area Drug Investigation Division, Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force, Red Lake Tribal and Minneapolis police departments, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Drug Enforcement Agency, Minnesota Department of Corrections the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Marshal’s Office.”  

This case is the result of an investigation led by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Deidre Y. Aanstad is prosecuting the case.

Source: Department of Justice

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