The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 10, 2013

Six men in Mankato apartment busted on drug sale charges

By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer

MANKATO — Six men were arrested and a large amount of cash confiscated this week after investigators used an informant and a drug task force agent to deliver marijuana to a Mankato apartment.

On Monday they delivered a package of about a half pound of marijuana to an apartment at 412 N. Second St. while police officers prepared to search the apartment. The plan was to wait several minutes after the delivery was made so the resident, 20-year-old Chudier Gatkuoth Dang, would have time to open it.

When Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force agents went into the building a few minutes after the delivery, they reported smelling a strong odor of raw marijuana. They also reported Dang's door was open and several men could be seen.

Undercover officers were sent in to handcuff the men so the apartment could be secured until a search warrant was issued, according to criminal complaints filed in Blue Earth County District Court. A drug dog was used to check three cars parked outside. The dog smelled drugs in all three vehicles, the complaint said.

Investigators reported finding the half pound of marijuana on a kitchen table and the package on the floor. A stack of $800 in cash and a digital scale were found in front of 21-year-old Medi Okugu Opiew of Mankato, the complaints said. Another $1,900 in cash was allegedly found in the possession of 21-year-old Michael Antonio Roberts of St. Paul.

The other three men arrested during the search were 20-year-old William E. Dass of North Mankato, 20-year-old Padoch Malakal Jock of Mankato and 19-year-old Lich Jacob Tut of Storm Lake, Iowa.

All six face felony charges of aiding and abetting fifth-degree drug sales.