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Press Release

Two Men Plead Guilty To Selling Methamphetamine On The White Earth Reservation

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

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the guilty pleas of MICHAEL JACOB BLANDFORD, 28, and MATTHEW JON LEIGLAND, 26, to one count each of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. BLANDFORD and LEIGLAND, who were initially charged on April 26, 2019, entered their guilty pleas before Judge Nancy E. Brasel in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota.

According to the defendants’ guilty pleas and documents filed with the court, BLANDFORD and LEIGLAND admitted to traveling from the White Earth Indian Reservation to the Twin Cities to purchase methamphetamine from a source and bring it back to the Reservation to distribute. On March 18, 2019, in Motley, Minnesota, a Minnesota State Trooper conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle for speeding and for having loud exhaust. BLANDFORD was identified as the driver and LEIGLAND was identified as the lone passenger. During the stop, the State Trooper observed drug paraphernalia and BLANDFORD showed signs of recent drug use. When asked to step out of the vehicle, BLANDFORD fled on foot and tossed an item out of his pocket, which was later found to be approximately 10 grams of methamphetamine. The State Trooper apprehended BLANDFORD and placed him in custody. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a methamphetamine smoking device, used razor blades, a small digital scale, two measuring cups, and a gallon Ziploc bag containing approximately 480 grams of methamphetamine.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the West Central Minnesota Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, the Becker County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota State Patrol, the Motley Police Department, and the FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Gina L. Allery prosecuted the case.


Defendant Information:


Monticello, Minn.


  • Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, 1 count



Ponsford, Minn.


  • Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, 1 count




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

Updated February 14, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Indian Country Law and Justice