Brannen Michael Stafford, 33, of Hugo, Minnesota, has been charged with five felonies after police say they found him illegally in possession of a firearm with a device that rendered it capable of firing “automatically” and over six pounds of methamphetamine.
Court documents and a Facebook post by Robbinsdale police describe that officers, including Crystal police, responded to the 3800 block of Xenia Avenue North on Tuesday, March 1 around 8 p.m. on a report of shots heard in the area. At least one 911 caller described the sound as “full auto.”
In the area, officers found Stafford and another person walking near a truck that registered to Stafford.
Police observed a firearm in plain view in the truck. Stafford also had a Glock 17 in his waistband and officers observed that the firearm appeared to have an automatic fire selector switch which converts a firearm to automatic fire. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) classifies weapons modified in this manner as machine guns.
Stafford was also in possession of an empty Glock magazine and several thousand dollars of U.S. currency. Officers canvassed the area and found about twelve 9mm casings.
A warrant search of the vehicle turned up a 9mm Glock 19 handgun with a round in the chamber, 100 rounds of 9mm ammunition, a large amount of U.S. currency, and a mail document belonging to Stafford. Police also found about 6.5 pounds of methamphetamine split up into several baggies, marijuana, a scale and three boxes of sandwich baggies.
Stafford has been charged with possession of a machine gun, felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition, and three first-degree drug charges, including possession of 50 grams or more of cocaine or meth (aid/abet), a charge of aggravated possession with intent to sell narcotics while armed, and sale of 17 grams or more of meth or cocaine within a 90-day period.
Stafford is a three-time state convicted felon which prohibits him from possessing firearms. His prior felony convictions include first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling and two convictions on second- and fifth-degree narcotics.
Stafford was also federally sentenced to 60 months in prison in 2017 on drug distribution after selling over 400 grams of methamphetamine to a confidential informant. Federal records indicate Stafford received a significant downward departure on the conviction and was recently released from federal custody.
Stafford also has another open case in Isanti County in which he’s charged with three felony counts of receiving stolen property. Charges in that case say Stafford was trying to sell tools on Facebook Marketplace that had been burglarized from a Stacy, Minnesota, business totaling nearly $19,000.
Michael Anthony Vargas, 39, was arrested along with Stafford but was not formally charged in Hennepin County related to the incident. However, records indicate that Vargas may be on federal parole, and he was transferred to the custody of U.S. Marshals where he remains in custody.
Stafford remains in custody in Hennepin County Jail on a U.S. Marshal hold without bail. He’s scheduled to make his next court appearance on the new charges on March 31.
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