Federal grand jury indicts two for fentanyl trafficking on Red Lake Reservation

A federal grand jury indicted two men for their roles in distributing fentanyl on the Red Lake Reservation.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 40-year-old Christopher Richard of Detroit, Mich., and 52-year-old Leroy Varney of Bemidji, were indicted separately Wednesday.

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

Varney is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute.

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 conducted the investigation.

Prosecutors say Varney and Richard were selling large amounts of the illicit substance fentanyl, which is a thousand times more potent than morphine and is known to cause fatal overdoses, in March and April of this year.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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