News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2009
Contact: Joanna DeSanto
Number: 312-886-2597

Last of 3 Twin Cities Men Sentenced for
Role in Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine

MAY 20 -- (Minneapolis) The last of three north metro area men was sentenced yesterday in federal court for possessing with intent to distribute 500 or more grams of cocaine. On May 19, 2009 in Minneapolis, United States District Court Judge David Doty sentenced Antonio Ortiz Shinaul, 32, Brooklyn Park, to 33 months in prison and four years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 or more grams of cocaine.

Michael Allen Barthel, 26, Blaine, was sentenced on May 18, 2009 to 30 months in prison and four years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy. Arthur Jamar Griffin, 30, Brooklyn Park, was sentenced on April 27, 2009 to 120 months in prison and eight years of supervised release on one count of conspiracy.

All three defendants were indicted on Oct. 20, 2008. Shinaul pleaded guilty on Dec. 15, 2008, and Barthel pleaded guilty on Dec. 3, 2008. Griffin was convicted by a jury on Jan. 13, 2009. According to Barthel’s and Shinaul’s respective plea agreements, they admitted conspiring to possess and distribute 3 kilograms of cocaine and also admitted intending to distribute it.

During the course of the investigation, authorities arranged an undercover purchase of cocaine on Sept. 30, 2008 at the Wal-Mart in West St. Paul. The three defendants were arrested following the transaction. During the arrest, Griffin took the money from the vehicle, hid it under his shirt and attempted to flee.

This case was the result of an investigation by the DEA. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst