Red Lake man sentenced to over 5 years in prison for firearm possession and fentanyl distribution

A Red Lake man has been sentenced to 63 months in prison for owning a firearm as a felon and possessing fentanyl with the intent to distribute, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

The 63-month sentence will be followed by four years of supervised release, according to court officials.

According to the news release, after Matt Dion Sayers, 47, escaped from Red Lake Police custody on June 22, 2022, authorities began to investigate him for drug distribution.

Law enforcement saw him park his car at a motel in Bemidji and then get in and out of a silver van parked nearby.

According to court documents, Sayers was arrested shortly after he left the van on suspicion of selling controlled substances and driving without a valid driver’s license.

During a search, agents found approximately 46 grams of fentanyl powder in Sayers’ pocket.

Law enforcement also searched Sayers’ Chevy Impala and found about $11,000 in cash, a small safe containing various controlled substances — including fentanyl and methamphetamine — and a loaded UZI Pro Brand 9 x 19 mm caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Sayers pleaded guilty to the charges on December 13, 2022, and was sentenced on April 16, 2023.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office and the Red Lake Tribal Police Department.