DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 14, 2017
Gregory G. Brooker
, United States Attorney
Contact: PAO

Methamphetamine Trafficker Sentenced to more than 33 Years in Federal Prison

Acting United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker today announced the sentencing of ELFRED WILLIAM PETRUK, 39, to 31 years in prison for methamphetamine-related trafficking offenses. PETRUK was found guilty on June 12, 2017, following a four-day trial, of one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. PETRUK was sentenced to 31 years for each count and will serve those terms concurrently. PETRUK was indicted on these counts while on supervised release for a previous federal conviction. As a result, he will serve an additional two-and-one-half years consecutively for violating his supervised release terms and conditions. He was sentenced on December 13, 2017, before U.S. District Judge Ann D. Montgomery.

“Methamphetamines are destroying lives across Minnesota. Today’s sentence highlights our commitment to prosecuting individuals, such as Mr. Petruk, who are intent on bringing these dangerous drugs into our communities,” said Acting United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker. “This case reflects the collaborative work of federal, state, and local task forces and their dedication to combating drug trafficking.”

“Mr. Petruk has had a history of criminal behavior dating back two decades. Getting him off the streets is a big win for these communities,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Kirk Howard of the Saint Paul Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “In fact, our local ATF office has built a number of cases on Mr. Petruk resulting in three separate federal indictments. We are extremely happy with the sentencing. We owe a big thanks to the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force with whom we worked closely during this investigation. This is a big win for them, too.”

As proven at trial, in July 2016, law enforcement agents received information that PETRUK, who then had only recently been released from prison and placed on federal supervised release, was trafficking large quantities of methamphetamine from the Twin Cities area to the Twin Ports area. In September 2016, on at least three separate occasions, law enforcement agents observed PETRUK traveling from the Twin Ports area to the Twin Cities, making short-duration stops at remote locations and at homes of known methamphetamine users and dealers. On September 20, 2016, agents stopped and detained PETRUK and, upon execution of a search warrant, recovered
more than 800 grams of highly pure methamphetamine hidden in a compartment under the hood of PETRUK’S vehicle.

As proven at trial, following PETRUK’S arrest, law enforcement agents executed search warrants at several of the locations in Duluth, Minn. and Superior, Wisc. believed to be related to PETRUK’S drug-trafficking activities. During the course of the searches, law enforcement agents seized a loaded 9mm handgun, methamphetamine, cash, digital scales, drug-packaging materials, and other drug-trafficking paraphernalia.

The defendant has multiple prior criminal convictions in state and federal courts. In September 2006, PETRUK pleaded guilty in federal district court to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 120 months in prison. In July 2015, PETRUK was found guilty by a federal jury of one count of corruptly attempting to obstruct an official proceeding and was sentenced to 46 months in prison.

This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Duluth Police Department; the Superior, Wisconsin Police Department; and the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allen A. Slaughter and Benjamin Bejar prosecuted the case.

Defendant Information:

ELFRED WILLIAM PETRUK, 39
Duluth, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 402 months in prison (372 months each count to be served concurrently, plus 30 months for violation of supervised release conditions to be served consecutively)
  • 10-year term of supervised release (10 years each count, served concurrently)

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

Field Division: St. Paul Field Division