September 14, 2018 10:15 PM
Agents from the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force say they seized 170.98 pounds of methamphetamine in Minneapolis Tuesday in what is believed to be the largest methamphetamine single seizure in state history.
A release said the seizure was part of an ongoing trafficking investigation that began in January, originating in the task force's jurisdiction. The raid occurred on the 3600 block of Dupont Avenue North.
"It shows the community that the work we're doing is going to make a difference. That's 172 pounds that aren't going to make it to a family member or friend," said Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn, who is also the chair of the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force.
According to the release, the drugs seized could sell wholesale for around $684,000. When broken down for $100 per gram for sale on the street, authorities say the value would be $7,750,000.
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Five adults and three children were found at the residence, where authorities allegedly discovered 39 packages - each containing approximately two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of methamphetamine.
"These people don't stay in one place, they're dealing all over the state," Dunn said.
A sawed-off shotgun, 1.1 ounces of tar heroin and several thousand dollars in suspected drug cash were also seized, the release said.
Four people were arrested in the raid. They were Fernando Ramos-Meza, 33, Peter Martin, 34, Javier Lopez, 46, and Juan Daniel Valdez Mendoza, 23.
The release said all four men have been charged in Hennepin County. Court records show Ramos-Meza and Lopez are charged with one count of first-degree sales of 17 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine and one count of first-degree possession of 50 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine.
The criminal complaints against both men state authorities located boxes full of methamphetamine in a kitchen closet at the residence, as well as in a Chevrolet Suburban parked outside.
The complaint alleges Ramos-Meza told authorities Martin was responsible for selling the drugs, but admitted to providing him with customers and receiving money in compensation.
Investigation and surveillance provided agents with information to obtain a search warrant for the residence.
The Minneapolis Police Department and Department of Homeland Security Agents assisted in the matter. The Minneapolis Police SWAT team assisted in the execution of the search warrant.
The Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force covers Rice and Le Sueur Counties and consists of agents from the Rice and Le Sueur County Sheriff's Offices, as well as the Faribault and Northfield Police Departments.
"We know that this is in our communities and that's why we're taking such an aggressive stance," Dunn said.
Updated: September 14, 2018 10:15 PM
Created: September 14, 2018 02:21 PM
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