On Nov. 7, 2019, the United States District Court in Minneapolis sentenced Donald Jay Braaten, 38, from Marshall, to 80 months in federal prison for distribution of methamphetamine.

Braaten was originally charged in United Stated District Court with both trafficking methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by an ineligible person. The firearm charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

Braaten’s case arose out of an investigation in Renville County by the Brown-Lyon-Redwood-Renville Drug Task Force. In Fall 2018, task force agents conducted various controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Braaten.

At the time of Braaten’s eventual arrest in Sacred Heart, agents found him to be in possession of a loaded .45 caliber handgun. The Renville County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the arrest.

On Nov. 7, 2018, Braaten was charged in Renville County District Court with first-degree controlled substance crimes (sale of methamphetamine) and possession of a firearm by a person who was previously convicted of a felony crime of violence.

Later, Braaten was indicted by a federal grand jury for the same offenses. The case was dismissed in Renville County so that the federal case could continue. 

The federal sentence was handed down by United States District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson. Braaten will serve his sentence in a federal penitentiary.

The drug task force is made up of officers from the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, New Ulm Police Department, Lower Sioux Tribal Police Department, Lyon County Sheriff’s Department, Marshall Police Department, Redwood County Sheriff’s Department, Redwood Falls Police Department and Renville County Sheriff’s Department.