NORTH MANKATO — Two men were charged Wednesday after a North Mankato drug and counterfeit money bust in what police are saying is the first case of a sizable amount of heroin showing up in the area.
Geramy Durell Hopson, 27, and his brother Isaiah Derrick Cooper-Jackson, 27, were arrested earlier this week at or near an apartment at 317 Page Ave. The apartment building is directly across the street from the tennis courts in Wheeler Park.
Police were concerned the men could be armed, so they began with a stakeout and arrested Hopson after he left in his vehicle. Hopson told them there was one person in the apartment, and Cooper-Jackson was found lying on a bed and arrested without incident, according to the criminal complaint.
Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force Agent Andy Johnson said that while there has been an epidemic of heroin in the Twin Cities area and other communities, this is the first significant amount of heroin confiscated here.
"The metro area is just getting bombarded with inconsistent strengths of heroin and a lot of overdoses. We've been happy we haven't seen it, but people are trying to bring it down to us."
Johnson said they had been working on the case for some time and had enough evidence to get a warrant to search the apartment. They received a "no-knock" warrant because the suspects had been around guns in the past.
No guns were found. They found 17 quarter-gram heroin packets that would sell for $30 to $50 each, about 7 grams of cocaine, digital scales that tested positive for cocaine and $1,600 in counterfeit $100 and $20 bills.
"The bills were pretty good. The paper didn't feel right, but the look was very good," Johnson said.
They also found a drug ledger with four nicknames and how much they owed. Someone called LowKey, for example, owes $225, while a person known as "P" owes $350.