A drug kingpin whose organization trafficked large quantities of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription narcotics through two Minnesota Indian reservations was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in federal prison.
Omar Sharif Beasley, 39, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in December 2015 and admitted to leading a distribution network that funneled drugs from Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis to communities in and near the Red Lake and White Earth Indian reservations.
A federal grand jury indicted Beasley and 40 other co-conspirators — most of whose sentences have ranged from probation to 10 years in prison — in May 2015 after a seven-month investigation that spanned multiple law enforcement agencies and seized two kilos of heroin, a kilogram of cocaine and hundreds of prescription pain pills, as well as weapons.
"Omar Beasley led a drug trafficking organization that flooded the Red Lake and White Earth Indian Reservations with heroin and other deadly drugs," acting U.S. Attorney Gregory Brooker said after the sentencing.
William Brunelle, public safety director for the Red Lake Police Department, described the investigation as a "precise and orchestrated strike against drug dealers in Indian Country."
"Today's sentence," he added, "sends a strong message that tribal lands are no place to sell your drugs."
Authorities did not specify how much money the conspiracy netted, but said at a news conference announcing the charges that the organization earned "millions in illegal drug proceeds" between April 2014 and April 2015.
The sentence handed down Wednesday by U.S. District Judge John Tunheim was roughly five years more than the government requested. Prosecutors described Beasley as a career criminal whose rap sheet included convictions in and around Minnesota reservations and who had already served two federal prison terms.
Beasley had been out of custody for barely a month when he began to assemble his drug trafficking organization in Indian Country, according prosecutors' sentencing position memo.