Mendota Heights Man Indicted For Distributing Methamphetamine
MINNEAPOLIS—A recently filed federal indictment charges a 42-year-old Mendota
Heights man with allegedly distributing more than 110 grams of methamphetamine. On April
16, 2012, Joseph Benjamin Thomas was charged with one count of possession with intent to
distribute methamphetamine, two counts of distribution of five or more grams of
methamphetamine, and one count of distribution of 50 or more grams of methamphetamine. On
April 25, 2012, Thomas had his initial appearance in federal court.
The indictment alleges that from February 1 to April 16, 2012, Thomas possessed with
intent to distribute 50 or more grams of methamphetamine. In addition, the indictment alleges
that Thomas distributed five or more grams of methamphetamine on February 15 and February
29, 2012. On March 13, 2012, Thomas allegedly distributed 50 or more grams of
If convicted, Thomas faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison on the charges of
possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 or more grams of methamphetamine,
as well as a potential maximum penalty of 40 years on each count of distribution of five or
more grams of the drug. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint
Terrorism Task Force, with assistance from the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security
Investigations; the University of Minnesota Police Department; the Minneapolis Police
Department; the St. Paul Police Department; the Fairmont Police Department; and the
Minnesota Department of Corrections. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney
Andrew R. Winter.
An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.