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

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.