Drug traffickers indicted on federal chargesTwo individuals charged in Carlton County in June were indicted on federal charges this week involving the distribution of methamphetamine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Two individuals charged in Carlton County in June were indicted on federal charges this week involving the distribution of methamphetamine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Federal prosecutors indicted Robert Charles Gutz, 30, and Mindy Lea Lackore, 29, on Aug. 11 in Minneapolis, stemming from an incident that took place in the Barnum/Moose Lake area on June 25.
Gutz, of St. Paul, Minn., was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one of count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense and one count of being a felon in possession of a handgun.
Mindy Lea Lackore was charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. In late June, she told a Carlton County Court judge that she lives in St. Paul, although federal documents said she lives in Newport, Minn.
Their indictment alleges that from 2007 to June 25, 2008, the defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other and others to distribute 500 or more grams of a substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. It also alleges that on June 25, Gutz and Lackore knowingly and intentionally possessed with intent to distribute approximately 198 grams of a substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.
On June 25, Gutz and Lackore knowingly possessed a .45-caliber handgun in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense, the indictment said. Gutz has been previously convicted of felony crimes in three Minnesota counties from 2000 to 2003, including fleeing police in a motor vehicle in Ramsey County and drug-related crimes in both Dakota and Hennepin counties.
According to a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) affidavit, the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint about an individual acting suspiciously at a local business in Moose Lake on June 25, and received a description of the vehicle the individual was driving.
Officers stopped the vehicle and identified Gutz as a passenger, after he first gave a false name to them.
Gutz allegedly refused to cooperate, took control of the vehicle by pushing Lackore outside and attempted to flee, the affidavit states. A 40-mile chase ensued, with Gutz exceeding speeds of 100 miles per hour, and nearly striking two pedestrians during the chase.
The vehicle was stopped in Pine County and Gutz was arrested. During a search of the vehicle, officers recovered approximately 171 grams of methamphetamine, as well as packaging materials consistent with the drug-trafficking trade. In addition, $10,000 was recovered from both the vehicle and Gutz.
Once in custody, Gutz allegedly told officers that Lackore would be waiting for a ride back to Wisconsin and that a third individual, Jason Jerome McDonough of Superior, Wis., would attempt to pick her up. Officers later spotted McDonough’s car at the Little Store in Barnum and saw him make contact with Lackore, who was reportedly hiding in the foliage area of the Interstate-35 southbound right-of-way. Both Lackore and McDonough were arrested and during a search, officers allegedly found three grams of meth on McDonough. He was not named in the indictment.
If convicted, Gutz and Lackore each face a potential maximum penalty of life in prison on the conspiracy count, 40 years on the distribution count, 10 years on the felon in possession count and a mandatory five-year sentence on the count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. All sentences are determined by a federal district court judge.
This case is the result of an investigation by the BCA, the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office and the Pine County Sheriff’s Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy E. Brasel. Court dates have not been set in the case.