A South St. Paul man with a lengthy history of convictions has pleaded guilty in federal court to drug trafficking.
Nicholas Neil Nikiforakis, 34, pleaded guilty on Friday to possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute.
According to the defendant’s plea agreement and court documents, on Dec. 4, 2022, Nikiforakis posted a photo on Facebook that showed him in possession of a black firearm with a tan-colored extended magazine. Nikiforakis is prohibited from possessing firearms due to prior convictions.
Law enforcement officers were able to determine Nikiforakis’s location and conducted physical surveillance. When Nikiforakis was spotted getting behind the wheel of a black Ford Explorer near 35th and Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis, officers attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle. However, Nikiforakis rammed a responding squad car and fled the area at a high rate of speed.
— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) December 5, 2022
Nikiforakis eventually crashed near Cedar Avenue and Lake Street as he attempted a high-speed turn, hit a fire hydrant, and collided with a nearby building. He fled on foot but was ultimately apprehended at the scene. A subsequent search of the black Ford Explorer revealed a black and dark green privately made firearm or “ghost gun” — with a tan-colored extended magazine in the center console with a large black bag that contained fentanyl pills, marijuana, and a digital scale.
In addition to the drug trafficking count, Nikiforakis was initially charged in the case with counts of possession of ammunition and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. The plea agreement specifies that the remaining counts will be dismissed at sentencing in exchange for the guilty plea on drug trafficking.
A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Nikiforakis’ prior state convictions include first-degree drug sales, multiple fifth-degree assault, first-degree property damage to a public safety vehicle, attempted auto theft, domestic assault, violating an order for protection, stalking, fleeing police, and fourth-degree DWI.
– – –
Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.