Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Mike Sanchez, age 27 and Josue Ivan Ledezma-Lopez, age 22, both of Inver Grove Heights, have been charged* with two felony counts each of Controlled Substance Crimes in the First Degree (Sale and Possession) in connection with receiving almost 6 pounds of cocaine and 2 pounds of methamphetamine on July 23, 2013 in Inver Grove Heights.
Facts pertaining to these allegations:
Agents of the Dakota County Drug Task Force received information that an individual identified as Mike Sanchez was involved in the trafficking of large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine directly from Mexico. On July 23, 2013, a confidential informant working with the Dakota County Drug Task Force ordered a large quantity of controlled substances from Sanchez, who agreed to deliver the substances to Brooklyn Park. Agents conducting surveillance of Sanchez’ residence observed Sanchez leaving the residence and placing a black backpack into the rear of a Saturn and then driving away from the residence.
Sanchez made no stops prior to being pulled over by a Minnesota State Trooper in Golden Valley. When asked where he was going, Sanchez stated that he was travelling to Brooklyn Park from Inver Grove Heights where he is living.
The Trooper observed a backpack on the floor of the backseat directly behind the driver’s seat. The Trooper was given verbal permission by Sanchez to search his car. When he opened the bag, the Trooper observed a brick-type package wrapped in red tape. In the Trooper’s training and experience, he knew that to be a way to package narcotics. This was later tested and found to be 991.0 grams of cocaine (approximately 2.2 pounds or 1 kilo). Sanchez denied that it was his backpack.
Later on July 23rd, agents of the Dakota County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on Sanchez’ residence in Inver Grove Heights. A male identified as Josue Ivan Ledezma- Lopez was located in the residence in possession of over $1,000.00 and was taken into custody. Also seized during this search were cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, and over $22,000 in cash. In total, over 5.85 pounds of cocaine (93.66 ounces), 2.96 pounds of methamphetamine (47.34 ounces), and 1.1 ounce of marijuana were seized during this investigation.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint which is located online at www.dakotacounty.us/LawJustice/CriminalComplaint
. If in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at www.dakotacounty.us/LawJustice/Jail/Pages/inmate-search.aspx
Backstrom stated that the amount of cocaine seized in this investigation was more than three times the amount of cocaine seized in all of 2012 in Dakota County.
Backstrom commented: “This case involves significant quantities of illegal drugs. Illegal drug abuse poses a significant threat to public safety. We are pleased that law enforcement was able to remove from the streets such a large quantity of illegal drugs. The street value of the cocaine is about $120,000 and the meth is valued at about $30,000.”
Backstrom thanked the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Dakota County Drug Task Force and the Minnesota State Patrol who assisted in this case for their quick response and thorough investigation.
Both Sanchez and Ledezma-Lopez made their first appearance in court today and bail in the amount of $500,000 without conditions ($400,000 with conditions) was set by Dakota County District Court Judge Mary Theisen. Their next court appearance is set for August 19, 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.