Red Lake man sentenced to five years for fentanyl trafficking

A 53-year-old Red Lake man was recently sentenced to five years in federal prison for selling fentanyl on the reservation.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that law enforcement observed Leroy Varney make a roundtrip from Bemidji to Pequot Lakes in April 2021.

Varney was apprehended when he returned from Bemidji. Officers found 100 grams of fentanyl divided into four bags.

Varney admitted he intended to sell the fentanyl in Bemidji to people coming from the Red Lake Reservation and pleaded guilty to one count of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl.

The Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Red Lake Police Department conducted the investigation.

Varney’s prison sentence will be followed by four years of supervised release.


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. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!


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