The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

December 12, 2013

Heroin found again during local drug search

Investigators have concerns about drug moving into area

MANKATO — Charges filed this week as a result of a September drug bust show investigators continue to find heroin in the Mankato area.

The criminal complaint filed against 20-year-old Christopher Eric Hager accuse the former Minnesota State University student of having a small amount of the drug when his residence at 427 Byron St. was searched Sept. 13. One of his roommates, 20-year-old Scott Robert Taylor, also has been charged with selling marijuana near a school. The house is across the street from the Lincoln Community Center.

Investigators with the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force reported finding more than 2 ounces of marijuana, a scale and about $500 in cash while searching Taylor's second-floor bedroom, that complaint said. A smaller amount of marijuana and a small plastic bag containing a brown powdery substance that tested positive for heroin were allegedly found in what investigators suspect was Hager's room. He is facing a felony charge for possessing a small amount of the drug in a school area.

During an interview in May, Dan Davidson, Task Force commander, said he was concerned about heroin dealers making a move into the Mankato area. They had attempted to sell the drug in the past without much success because local drug users weren't interested. Dealers have been having success finding buyers in the Twin Cities area and other smaller communities around the state, however, Davidson said.

He also said he expected that to change because heroin, which is often shipped directly to Minnesota from Mexico, was becoming more affordable.

"That scares me to death," Davidson said. "We haven't seen the street problems we were seeing in the metro, but it's coming. It's cheap, it's potent and it's very addictive."

About a month after that interview, Task Force investigators arrested two men for allegedly selling the drug from a Page Avenue apartment in North Mankato. Geramy Durell Hopson, 27, and Isaiah Derrick Cooper-Jackson, 28, were arrested June 10 after 17 quarter-gram packets of heroin and about 7 grams of cocaine were found in the apartment along with about $1,600 in counterfeit $100 and $20 bills.

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