Hennepin County charges 20 people with meth conspiracy

The war on drugs has claimed new victims after Hennepin County officials arrested and charged 20 individuals with conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime. It is undeniable that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are cracking down harder than ever on drug possession, manufacturing and distribution, leading to numerous methamphetamine drug charges being filed each year. Because these agencies are pushing so hard to arrest and convict anyone suspected of drug charges, it is easy for law enforcement to go too far and violate suspects’ rights.

This most recent roundup happened after an informant first started talking to St. Paul police, but it is unclear how the informant had any information on the supposed drug ring. Eventually, police applied for a wiretap in which they could listen to the suspected meth distributors’ conversations with producers in Mexico and California.

This case raises some questions about whether federal and local officials had the authority to perform such an invasive search. Everyone in Minnesota and across the United States has rights protected by the Fourth Amendment, including the protection from unreasonable search and seizure. What this means is that law enforcement officers can’t just tap a suspect’s phone unless they has sufficient credible evidence; if police don’t, the evidence can’t be used in a criminal conviction.

The Duluth New Tribune doesn’t clarify what information was used in the application for the search warrant for the wiretap. But, this story illustrates that anyone accused of a drug crime in Minneapolis or St. Paul needs to work with a criminal defense attorney to ensure that his or her Fourth Amendment rights are not violated.

Source: Duluth News Tribune, “20 people charged in Twin Cities-based meth ring,” Amy Forliti, March 10, 2012

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.
Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions:
State of Minnesota
Minnesota State Court
Minnesota Federal Court
8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals
State of Maryland”

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Getting falsely accused of domestic violence in Minnesota may put you at risk of losing your job, custody of your children, or even your home. You may face criminal charges and the accusation may damage your reputation in the community, as people will now view you as an abuser. False domestic violence accusations often happen when couples are in a contentious relationship with a risk of divorce.
The top reasons for license suspension in Minnesota include driving under the influence of alcohol, repeated traffic violations, and failure to appear in court or pay fines. Failure to pay child support, criminal convictions and felonies, medical conditions/disabilities, and drag racing can also lead to license suspension. The suspension takes away your driving privileges, preventing you from driving legally.
Motorists arrested for allegedly driving while impaired might wonder, “Can you refuse a breathalyzer?” In Minnesota, the implied consent law requires a person licensed to drive, control, or operate a vehicle to agree to a chemical test to check for alcohol or other intoxicants in that person’s body. Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or another chemical test is a crime, often charged as a gross misdemeanor.