Skip to main content
Press Release

Minnesota Man Sentenced for Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance

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

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that an Ellsworth, Minnesota, man convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance was sentenced on August 1, 2016, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Lugene Rayfeal Russell, age 47, was sentenced to 22 months in custody, 2 years of supervised release, $1,000 fine, a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100, and forfeiture of a firearm, ammunition, and U.S. currency seized by law enforcement.

Russell was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 21, 2016. He pled guilty on May 9, 2016.

The conviction stemmed from an incident on November 16, 2015, when Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Officers made contact with a vehicle in which Russell was a passenger, in Fort Thompson, South Dakota. At that time, Russell had in his possession 31 small individual baggies of marihuana, weighing a total of .31 ounces (8.8 grams), and a larger bag containing

marihuana weighing a total of .97 ounces (27.5 grams), which he intended to distribute to others. He also possessed a Beretta, model 950 BS, .25 caliber pistol, bearing serial number BR91469V, and ammunition. A comprehensive search of the vehicle on November 20, 2015, revealed $3,923 in U.S. currency bundled together in a compartment found behind the glove box.

This case was investigated by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Crow Creek Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney SaraBeth Donovan prosecuted the case.

Russell was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated August 2, 2016

Drug Trafficking