NOV 06 (MINNEAPOLIS) - On Thursday, November 1, 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with the Rochester Police Department, Olmsted County Sheriff’s office, South Eastern Minnesota Narcotics Task Force (SEMNTF), and the United States Marshals Services, executed numerous arrest warrants as part of Operation Heat Wave, a collaborative investigation into the distribution of illegal drugs in the Rochester area.
During the past several months, members of the DEA, the Rochester Police Department, and SEMNTF have worked to identify individuals believed to be involved in the sale and distribution of marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine in and around Rochester. This extensive, on-going investigation has resulted in the issuance of 20 arrest warrants.
Eighteen people were arrested in the early morning hours of November 1st, and two others are being pursued. While the majority is expected to be charged in state court, several may be prosecuted federally.
Beginning at approximately 6:30, officers from the above-mentioned agencies teamed up to make the arrests. Seventeen of the eighteen were arrested in or around the City of Rochester and one individual (#7 Richard Dalton) was arrested in the City of Eau Claire Wisconsin. All the arrests were made by teams of officers comprised of at least one Rochester Police Officer. None of the arrested parties offered any physical resistance and all were transported to the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center.
Warrants that were successfully executed resulted in the arrest of the following individuals:
If convicted, the defendants face a potential maximum penalty of life in prison for conspiracy. Possession with intent to distribute 50 or more grams of a controlled substance carries a potential maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, while possession with intent to distribute under 50 grams carries a potential maximum penalty of 20 years. In addition, O’Neil faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Boundary Waters Drug Task Force, and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (Wisconsin). It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst.
An indictment is a determination made by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed by a defendant. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial, at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.