St. Paul Felon Charged in Federal Complaint for Attempted Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine
MINNEAPOLIS – A superseding indictment was unsealed today in the District of Minnesota charging 14 additional members and associates of the Minneapolis Highs gang with racketeering (RICO) conspiracy and fentanyl trafficking. Additional charges include firearms violations, kidnapping, assault, and carjacking.
“Today’s charges against the Highs gang are focused on the criminal organization’s extensive fentanyl trafficking operations,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. “Selling fentanyl in our communities is as dangerous and lethal as the brazen gun violence we’ve seen in our cities. Addressing the nexus between narcotics trafficking and violent crime is a critical piece of our Violent Crime Strategy, and I am grateful to my law enforcement partners who are equally focused on protecting the lives of Minnesotans, regardless of the threat.”
In addition to the previously charged conduct involving a years-long pattern of violence, the superseding indictment alleges an extensive fentanyl trafficking operation involving Arizona-based suppliers. Between the summer of 2020 and the spring of 2023, Highs members are alleged to have made numerous round-trip flights from Minneapolis to Phoenix, at times carrying large sums of U.S. currency, to obtain fentanyl pills for re-sale in Minneapolis. During the same time period, Highs members shipped numerous U.S. Postal Service parcels containing fentanyl pills to Minneapolis from Arizona. The superseding indictment alleges numerous instances of fentanyl possession and distribution in and around Highs territory in Minneapolis.
Through the course of the investigation, law enforcement has seized approximately 11.6 kilos of fentanyl, at least 36 firearms, and over $218,000 in U.S. currency.
The following defendants are charged in the Highs superseding indictment, with all defendants being from Minneapolis, unless otherwise noted below.
If convicted, the defendants face a range of penalties, including up to life in prison for racketeering conspiracy.
The ATF, FBI, Minneapolis Police Department, IRS Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and Minnesota Department of Corrections are investigating the cases, with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, St. Paul Police Department, and numerous other law enforcement agencies contributed to this investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samantha H. Bates, Justin A. Wesley, Albania Concepcion, and Jordan L. Sing for the District of Minnesota and Trial Attorney Brian W. Lynch of the Criminal Division’s Violent Crime and Racketeering Section are prosecuting the cases.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.