Many people in Minneapolis-St. Paul may think that getting caught with marijuana is not a big deal, but Minnesota and federal prosecutors are more-than-willing to charge people with drug possession or distribution. Many of these charges carry extremely harsh penalties, if convicted, including time in prison, heavy fines, and the collateral damage of being charged and convicted of a drug crime. Even after serving a sentence, someone convicted of a drug crime may have difficulty keeping a job, finding a place to live or even keeping a professional license.
In this story, two Minnesota men are facing federal marijuana charges after federal agents allege they were involved with a drug ring that allegedly stretches from California to Minnesota. The men were originally picked up four days after investigators allegedly intercepted a delivery of marijuana just outside Minneapolis. The two men were stopped outside of the state, however, and it does not appear that they were at the supposed delivery.
The Star Tribune reports that four men from Colorado were involved in drug smuggling, including two men who flew a small plane from Colorado to Minnesota. The pilot and co-pilot both admitted to conspiring to distribute 50 or more kilograms of marijuana. Although both the pilot and the co-pilot have pled guilty, it is still somewhat unclear how large of a role the two Minnesota men had in the supposed drug ring.
The attorney for one of the Minnesotans has said that he finds it odd that such a small amount of marijuana merits federal charges, but he suspects that the alleged use of an airplane complicated matters.
Source: Star Tribune, “Hockey bags full of pot at Anoka County Airport lead to drug ring,” Abby Simons, Dec. 21, 2011