Drugs and guns seized in St. Louis Park and Minneapolis warrant raids

The task forces seized 870 grams of powder fentanyl, 4,500 counterfeit pills that also tested positive for fentanyl, 13 grams of cocaine, over $82,000 in suspected drug proceeds, and three handguns.

Guns, drugs, and cash seized by the Southwest Hennepin and West Metro Drug Task Forces (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

Caches of narcotics, guns, and suspected drug proceeds were seized in a series of search warrants executed this week in St. Louis Park and Minneapolis involving a suspect who just received a stayed sentence on a drug conviction in Hennepin County court in June.

Denzel Christopher Meeks (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Denzel Christopher Meeks, 30, was offered the June plea deal by Mary Moriarty’s office on charges of second- and third-degree drug possession and sale of fentanyl that charges say he was selling out of an Uptown Minneapolis apartment building in 2022. The plea deal involving a single downgraded charge to fifth-degree drug possession was ultimately approved by Hennepin County Judge Hilary L. Caligiuri who stayed Meeks’ 25-month prison sentence in a downward departure from sentencing guidelines, according to court records.

Meeks was instead credited with three days spent in jail and was placed on probation for a term of two years.

Now, less than four months later, Meeks is the subject of new charges involving the sale and possession of fentanyl and cocaine and being a felon in possession of firearms, some of them also illegally modified under state and federal law.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office posted on social media Friday that members of the Southwest Hennepin and West Metro Drug Task Forces executed multiple warrants in Saint Louis Park and Minneapolis this week that resulted in the arrest of Meeks.

Charges filed in Hennepin County District Court on Thursday detail that Meeks had been under surveillance following a tip that he was receiving fentanyl from Chicago and distributing it locally.

During the search warrants executed upon residences and vehicles associated with Meeks, the task forces seized 870 grams of powder fentanyl, 4,500 counterfeit pills that also tested positive for fentanyl, 13 grams of cocaine, over $82,000 in suspected drug proceeds, and three handguns. Two of the guns were modified with a “switch,” a device used to convert a semi-automatic firearm to fire automatically.

The criminal complaint details that when Meeks was stopped in a vehicle on Wednesday as part of the warrant search, approximately 25 grams of fentanyl were found “in a body cavity,” and a handgun with an extended magazine was located under the dashboard by the steering column of the vehicle. The remainder of the drugs, the two loaded guns with switches, ammunition, multiple magazines, and cash were located at residences and storage units associated with Meeks.

Meeks is prohibited from possessing firearms as a result of his June drug conviction as well as prior felony convictions on second-degree assault, felon in possession of a firearm, and two prior felony drug convictions in 2018 and 2015.

Meeks is charged in the new case with felony counts of first- and second-degree narcotics sales and with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew Luger has been federally charging several local cases involving firearms modified with switches as part of a crackdown on violent crime. At this time no federal charges appear to be filed in relation to the illegally modified firearms in Meeks’ case.

Meeks remains in custody on $1 million bail and is next scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 28.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.

 

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.