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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 7, 2017

Three Individuals Sentenced For Heroin Distribution, Assault On Red Lake Indian Reservation

Acting United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker announced the sentencing of GREGORY VERNELL BENTLEY, 32, CRAIG VERNARD BENTLEY, 29, and VANESSA LYNNE BROWN, 24, for their roles in a violent heroin distribution ring. All three defendants entered guilty pleas and were sentenced before Senior Judge Michael J. Davis in U.S. District Court.

 

According to their guilty pleas and documents filed in court, between August 26, 2015 and August 14, 2016, BROWN and CRAIG BENTLEY conspired with others to possess and distribute heroin on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. On August 14, 2016, CRAIG BENTLEY met with BROWN at the Red Lake Casino and dropped off 350 grams of heroin, which BROWN intended to sell. As part of the heroin distribution conspiracy, CRAIG BENTLEY and BROWN made regular trips between the Twin Cities and the Red Lake Indian Reservation to pick up and drop off heroin and cash.

 

According to his guilty plea and documents filed in court, on August 14, 2016, during an attempt to collect a drug debt in relation to the heroin distribution conspiracy, GREGORY BENTLEY shot an adult male with a 9 mm Smith & Wesson pistol, causing serious bodily harm.

 

To learn more about the Justice Department’s Tribal Safety program, visit http://www.justice.gov/tribal/.

 

This case resulted from an investigation conducted by the Red Lake Tribal Police Department and the FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force.

 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford B. Wardlaw.

 

 

Defendant Information:

 

GREGORY VERNELL BENTLEY, 32

St. Paul, Minn.

 

Convicted:

  • Assault with a dangerous weapon, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 77 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release

 

CRAIG VERNARD BENTLEY, 29

St. Paul, Minn.

 

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 120 months in prison
  • Five years of supervised release

 

VANESSA LYNNE BROWN, 24

Red Lake, Minn.

 

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 40 months in prison
  • Four years of supervised release

 

 

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

 

 

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Updated July 7, 2017