News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Duluth felon indicted for carjacking, possessing nine-millimeter pistol and methamphetamine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2013


MINNEAPOLIS—A federal indictment unsealed earlier this week charges a 34-year-old felon from Duluth with carjacking and possessing a nine-millimeter pistol as well as methamphetamine. The indictment, which was filed on June 18, 2013, charges Elfred William Petruk with one count of carjacking, one count of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The indictment was unsealed following Petruk’s initial appearance in federal court on June 25, 2013.

The indictment alleges that on June 18, 2012, Petruk took a 1989 GMC Sierra pickup truck by force. It also alleges that from the autumn of 2012 through March 27, 2013, Petruk conspired with others to possess methamphetamine, and that on March 27, 2013, he specifically possessed with intent to distribute five or more grams of methamphetamine.

Furthermore, because he is a felon, Petruk is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. The indictment alleges, however, that on December 4, 2012, Petruk possessed a nine-millimeter, semi-automatic pistol. His previous convictions in St. Louis County include second-degree burglary (1995), possession of a firearm by a felon (1998), possession of methamphetamine (1999), and fifth-degree assault (2002). In addition, Petruk was convicted in federal court in the District of Minnesota with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (2004). Since those convictions constituted crimes of violence or serious drug crimes, Petruk is now subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in federal prison for anyone subsequently convicted in federal court for being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition. Any sentence would be determined by a federal district court judge if Petruk is convicted or pleads guilty to the charges now filed against him.

If convicted, Petruk also faces a potential maximum penalty of 15 years in prison for carjacking, and 40 years on each of the two remaining counts.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Duluth Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.

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