You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Mille Lacs Man Sentenced To 77 Months in Prison For Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of TYRONE JAMES NELSON, 39, to 77 months in prison for his role in a heroin distribution conspiracy that targeted the Mille Lakes Indian Reservation and the surrounding communities. NELSON and his seven co-defendants were charged in a 10-count indictment on February 13, 2019. NELSON pleaded guilty on July 19, 2019, and was sentenced today before Judge Eric C. Tostrud in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota.

According to his guilty plea and documents filed in court, between December 2017 and May 2018, NELSON obtained heroin from individuals in Minneapolis, Minnesota and then transported it to communities in and surrounding the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation. NELSON, who was the main source and distributor of heroin in the Mille Lacs area, befriended enrolled Mille Lacs members and utilized their homes to operate his business.

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.

Defendant Information:


City of residence unknown


  • Conspiracy to distribute heroin, 1 count


  • 77 months in prison
  • Four years of supervised release


Additional news available on our website.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600





Drug Trafficking
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated November 19, 2019