Mike Sanchez, 27, was sentenced to 98 months behind bars after entering a guilty plea to the charge of first-degree controlled possession back in August.
Sanchez was one of two men charged with possession of more than six pounds of cocaine during a surveillance and eventual bust back in July.
Dakota County attorney James Backstrom stated that the amount of cocaine seized in the investigation was more than three times the amount of cocaine seized in all of 2012 in Dakota County.
According to the complaint:
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.
Tuesday, 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 (sedan) and then driving away from the residence.
Sanchez made no stops prior to being pulled over by a Minnesota State Patrol officer in Golden Valley. When asked where he was going, Sanchez stated that he was traveling to Brooklyn Park from Inver Grove Heights where he is living.
The State Patrol Officer 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 grams of cocaine (approximately 2.2 pounds or 1 kilogram). Sanchez denied that it was his backpack.
Later that day, 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 and was taken into custody. Also seized during this search were cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, and over $22,000 in cash. In total, more than 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.
“This case involves significant quantities of illegal drugs. Illegal drug abuse poses a significant threat to public safety,” Backstrom said. “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."The case against Sanchez's alleged accomplice, 22-year-old Josue Ivan Ledezma-Lopez, also of Inver Grove Heights, is sill pending.