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Press Release

Red Lake Man Sentenced to More Than Five Years in Prison for Drunk-Driving Manslaughter

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS – A Red Lake man has been sentenced to 64 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for involuntary manslaughter resulting from a drunk-driving crash that resulted in the death of his passenger, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, on the early morning of November 6, 2021, Gerald Wayne Johnson, 27, was driving his vehicle while intoxicated with a passenger in the front seat. Johnson was driving well over 90 miles per hour on a public road within the Red Lake Indian Reservation with a posted speed limit of 20 miles per hour. While speeding and driving recklessly, Johnson failed to handle a curve, jumped the curb, and crashed his vehicle into a tree, severely damaging the entire right side of his vehicle. Johnson’s passenger was ejected from the vehicle and died from her injuries caused by the crash. Investigators recovered several bottles of alcohol from inside and outside of Johnson’s totaled vehicle. Johnson’s blood draw after the crash revealed a blood alcohol content of .224.

Johnson was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court before Judge Michael J. Davis to one count of involuntary manslaughter.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by Red Lake Police Department, FBI, and Minnesota State Patrol.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Bejar prosecuted the case.

Updated November 8, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice