Skip to main content
Press Release

St. Paul Man Sentenced to 138 Months in Prison for Cocaine Possession

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS – A St. Paul man was sentenced to 138 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release for drug possession with intent to distribute, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats.

According to court documents, during the early morning hours of November 1, 2019, officers with the St. Paul Police Department initiated a traffic stop of John Sheldon Pickens, Jr.’s vehicle. Pickens, 36, initially pulled his vehicle over but then accelerated away and led police on a high-speed chase for several miles through the city of St. Paul. Officers were ultimately able to stop him on the Lafayette Bridge and take him into custody. Officers searched the vehicle and found six packages of cocaine that had a combined weight of approximately six kilograms.

Pickens was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery. He was convicted by a federal jury on June 24, 2021, of one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Homeland Security Investigations, the Saint Paul Police Department, and the Minnesota State Patrol.

This case was tried by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amber M. Brennan and Joseph S. Teirab.




Updated January 20, 2022

Drug Trafficking