Two 20-something men from St. Paul may be facing a lifetime in prison after police are saying they have found 3 pounds of meth in their homes. When many people in Minnesota hear “life in prison” they are most likely thinking that these two men, 22- and 28-years-old, are running a vast methamphetamine empire across Minnesota and the United States. To find out that each are only facing a single count each of possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute meth, it seems like a ridiculously harsh punishment.
Unfortunately, the punishments that come with drug crimes in Minnesota are excessive. There is very little leeway and the simplest mistake could land someone in prison for years or the rest of his or her life. Though drugs can cause problems within society, a lifetime in prison for a conspiracy to distribute as little as 3 pounds of meth may be an overreaction.
Besides the extreme punishment these two men may face, it is important to look at how they were arrested. In May, one of the men was driving in Fergus Falls when he was pulled over by police for a traffic violation. Despite the fact that he only had been stopped for a relatively minor traffic violation, police still asked if they could search his vehicle. While it can seem difficult to say “no” to police, that is exactly what he should have done.
It does not appear that police had a reason to search his vehicle, but chose to do so for some unknown reason. While the man had every right to tell the police he didn’t want his car searched, he let them do so and that is when they found $74,000 in the back seat. This piqued the officer’s interest and they searched his home later in the day, finding 2 pounds of methamphetamine. From there, it seems that they searched 28-year-old’s home and found the last pound of meth.
Source: WCCO 4 CBS, “Men Indicted For Conspiring To Sell Meth, Face Life In Prison,” June 12, 2012