Two men pleaded guilty Friday, Feb. 14, to selling methamphetamine on the White Earth Reservation.
Matthew Jon Leigland, 26, of Ponsford and Michael Jacob Blandford, 28, of Monticello were each convicted in U.S. District Court in St. Paul of one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota.
Leigland and Blandford were initially charged on April 26, 2019, according to the release.
The men admitted to traveling from the White Earth Reservation to the Twin Cities to buy meth from a source and bring it back to the reservation to distribute, according to court document cited in the release. On March 18, 2019, in Motley, a state trooper stopped the vehicle Leigland and Blandford for speeding. During the stop, the trooper observed drug paraphernalia, and the driver, Blandford, showed signs of recent drug use, according to the release.
When asked to step out of the vehicle, Blandford fled on foot, and tossed 10 grams of meth out of his pocket, according to the release. He was apprehended, and a further search of the vehicle turned up a meth smoking device, used razor blades, a small digital scale, two measuring cups and a gallon-sized plastic sandwich bag with approximately 480 grams of methamphetamine, according to the release.
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, according to the release.