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Monica Jensen
651-438-4440

Man Charged in Large Marijuana Bust in Dakota County
​Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Cher Yang, age 38 of St. Paul, has been charged* with two counts of felony Controlled Substance Crimes in the Third Degree (Sale and Possession) in connection with receiving 56.8 pounds (or 25,730.5 grams) on April 15, 2013 near Inver Grove Heights.

Facts pertaining to these allegations:

On the evening of April 10, 2013, officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Chicago, Illinois, responded to a shipping company that had discovered a box containing marijuana among 25 other boxes. The DEA agents searched all the boxes and discovered four additional boxes containing marijuana. The boxes were routed through Chicago to Eagan, Minnesota.

On the afternoon of April 15, 2013, a pick-up truck, later determined to be driven by the defendant, Cher Yang, arrived at the shipping company in Eagan, to pick up the boxes containing the marijuana.  A second vehicle with two other individuals also arrived to help pick up the boxes of marijuana.  The defendant signed the paperwork and was shown where his boxes were located.  The defendant inspected the shipping labels on the two pallets and confirmed that the shipment was his.  The boxes were then placed inside the two vehicles.  The five boxes containing the marijuana were all placed in the pick-up truck being driven by the defendant.  Both vehicles then left the shipping company.  The two vehicles were stopped at approximately 3:35 p.m. on Interstate 494 just west of Robert Street. 

The defendant later told the officers that he had been contacted by an individual from California who asked him where he ordered supplies for his store.  The defendant told the individual they came from California.  The defendant stated he then met this other individual in California a couple of weeks prior, and when the defendant’s order was ready to be shipped from California to Minnesota, the defendant and the other individual placed several bags of marijuana amongst the other items.  The defendant stated that only five of the boxes contained marijuana.  The defendant stated that he was to meet an individual off of Highway 61 near Hastings to deliver the marijuana to them and was going to receive $10,000 for doing so.

A preliminarily test of the contents of one of the bags indicated the presence of THC (tetrahydrocannabinols), also known as marijuana.  The contents of all the bags were weighed and determined to be 56.8 pounds or 25,730.5 grams or 25.7305 kilograms. 

Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found online at http://www.dakotacounty.us/LawJustice/CriminalComplaint.  If in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at http://www.dakotacounty.us/LawJustice/Jail/Pages/inmate-search.aspx.  

Backstrom commented:  “We are pleased that law enforcement was able to remove from the streets such a large quantity of marijuana.  Depending on the quality, this marijuana had the street value of between $171,000 and $342,000.”  Backstrom added: “The THC levels in marijuana are far more potent today and abuse has been on the rise in Minnesota the last several years.  This drug poses a significant threat to public safety and the health and welfare of those abusing this addictive drug.”

Backstrom thanked the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Minnesota State Patrol for their quick response and thorough investigation into this case. 

Yang made his first appearance in court today and bail in the amount of $75,000 without conditions ($30,000 with conditions) was set by Dakota County District Court Judge Joseph Carter.   Yang’s next court appearance is set for Monday, August 5, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. in Hastings.

If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.



*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt.  A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.