Man indicted on federal drug charges


A North Dakota man accused of shooting a Grafton police officer has been indicted on two charges in United States District Court in Grand Forks. A hearing was held this morning in the Federal courthouse in Grand Forks.

Ruben Joe Cruz, who is the suspect in an officer-involved shooting in Grafton, injuring Grafton officer Lucas Campoverde, on August 14, appeared on two charges relating to drugs on the date of the officer-involved shooting. According to court documents, the charges happened "in the District of North Dakota, and elsewhere." He pled not guilty.

Count one is Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and Distribute a Controlled Substance. The indictment says Cruz, along with another individual named in the indictment, agreed together and with others to possess, with the intent to distribute, and distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine.

Cruz also used violence and the threat of violence to further the drug conspiracy by attempting to murder the officer.

The second charge alleges Cruz possessed in excess of 50 grams of methamphetamine, with the intent to distribute.

US District Attorney Drew Wrigley says Cruz's Federal trial has been set for November 3, but could be switched at the request of the defense or due to the backlog created by COVID-19. A detention hearing could also be held, if the defense wishes to have Cruz released, Wrigley says.

"The United States will continue to request the defendant be detained prior to the trial in this matter," he says. "We view him as a danger to the public, as displayed by his action, and also as a danger of flight."

If convicted, Cruz faces a minimum of 10 years in Federal prison for the drug charges. If convicted of the firearm charge, Wrigley says Cruz faces an additional 10 years on the end of the drug sentence. In relation to the shooting of Campoverde, Wrigley says options of charging at either the state or Federal level are still on the table.

"The state can still charge him with the attempted murder of the officer," he says. "But those facts are still very much in play in Federal court, because we're charging him with the Federal crime of discharging a firearm in furtherance of his drug crime."

The proceedings from the state prosecution would come after the Federal court case plays out, Wrigley says.

Cruz is currently in the custody of the US Marshal Service.