A 39-year-old Duluth man will be returning to federal prison after being convicted of trafficking methamphetamine in the Twin Ports area soon after his release on a previous conviction.
Senior U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery sentenced Elfred William Petruk on Wednesday to more than 33 years in federal prison based on a June guilty verdict in his four-day methamphetamine trafficking trial.
Shortly after Petruk was placed on federal supervised release last year, Duluth police began receiving tips that he was trafficking methamphetamine between the Twin Cities and the Twin Ports regions. Agents discovered more than 800 grams of "nearly 99 percent pure" methamphetamine hidden under the hood of his vehicle during his arrest in September 2016, according to court filings.
"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," Acting United States Attorney Gregory Brooker said in a statement after the sentencing.
According to court filings, Petruk has spent much of the past 17 years behind bars and has more than 30 state and federal convictions dating to 1995. This week, Montgomery added 2 ½ years to Petruk's sentence for violating his supervised release terms for a previous conviction.
"Getting him off the streets is a big win for these communities," said Kirk Howard, acting special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' St. Paul division.
After Petruk's arrest, authorities searched co-conspirators' homes in Duluth and Superior, Wis., and found more methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia as well as a loaded handgun and cash.
Petruk's lawyer, Mark Nyvold, said Thursday that he planned to appeal. In court filings, Nyvold argued that prosecutors presented insufficient evidence to prove that the handgun recovered during the investigation belonged to Petruk.