Cokato man sentenced to prison after drug arrest in Benson, Minnesota

Benson, Minnesota, authorities were tipped to the presence of a Cokato man with active warrants against him. Drugs were found in his possession, as well, and he was sentenced to 19 months in prison.

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BENSON — A Cokato man arrested last month in Benson on outstanding warrants and found to be in possession of methamphetamine has been sentenced to 19 months in prison.

Russell Wesley Hanson Jr., 27, was sentenced May 16 in Swift County District Court for fifth-degree drug possession. According to the sentencing order, Hanson requested execution of the sentence and was given credit for 40 days already served. He was also ordered to pay $140 in fines and fees.

Custody photo of Russell Wesley Hanson Jr.
Russell Wesley Hanson Jr.
Contributed / Minnesota Department of Corrections

Under state law, offenders serve at least two-thirds of their sentences in custody and may serve the remaining time on supervised release.

Hanson is currently incarcerated in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. His expected release date is April 2023, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Hanson was arrested April 6 after law enforcement received a tip that he had several active warrants and was in Benson. According to the complaint, he was searched and a small container of suspected narcotics was found, which field-tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine.


He pleaded guilty May 3 to the single charge.

According to the complaint, he has four previous felony drug convictions.

Susan Lunneborg is the news editor of the West Central Tribune in Willmar, Minnesota. A journalist for more than 25 years, she has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in the Dakotas and Minnesota.
Lunneborg can be reached at: or 320-214-4343.
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