RED LAKE, Minn. — Two men have been charged by a federal grand jury, accused of distributing fentanyl into 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 intent to distribute it in and around the Red Lake Nation.

Richard has been 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 conducted 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 prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deidre Aanstad and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Angelica Ramirez.

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