By Rachel Kytonen
An undercover drug operation, lead by the recently formed East Central Drug and Violent Offender Task Force, has resulted in two men facing felony drug sale charges.
Demetreus Anthony McGinnis, 21, of St. Cloud, and Nathaniel Clifford Wilson, 21, of White Bear Lake, were charged with second degree drug sale-three grams or more-within a 90-day period. They appeared in court on March 28 before Judge John McBride in 10th District Court in Cambridge.
According to the criminal complaint, on March 27, agents with the task force received information that Wilson and McGinnis would be going to the area of Walmart in Cambridge to sell a quarter-ounce of methamphetamine for $700. A controlled buy was set up through an agent and an informant.
Once the vehicle arrived, McGinnis got out of the vehicle and went to the trunk, while Wilson counted the money given to him by the informant, who was wearing a listening device.
McGinnis gave the informant four baggies of a crystal-like substance. After the sale was complete, several law enforcement officers followed and stopped the suspect vehicle at the intersection of highways 65 and 95 in downtown Cambridge. Both men were then arrested.
A search of the vehicle’s trunk revealed a bag containing books, a digital scale, a plastic straw consistent with paraphernalia for inhaling controlled substances and a baggie of methamphetamine. The baggie was field tested and found positive for meth. The $700 used in the sale was also recovered.
The controlled substance, which was sold to the informant, weighed about 6.3 grams in its original packaging. The single baggie found inside the trunk was approximately 1.3 grams.
In court, Isanti County Chief Deputy Attorney Tom Wedes explained a background check on McGinnis revealed seven arrests, with three of those being warrant arrests. He said the state is concerned with McGinnis showing up for future court appearances and remaining law-abiding.
McGinnis said the prior charges against him all related to one incident, and he has never missed a court date in his life. He said he has been remaining law-abiding and working.
Judge McBride set bail for McGinnis and Wilson at $75,000 without conditions or $40,000 with conditions, and their next court appearances are scheduled for April 5.
The East Central Drug and Violent Offender Task Force conducted the undercover operation in cooperation with the Isanti County Sheriff’s Office, Cambridge Police and Minnesota State Patrol.
The task force was adopted by the sheriffs of Chisago, Isanti and Pine counties in December and officially began in January. Consisting of investigators from each of the three member counties, it focuses on apprehending violent drug offenders and keeping up with the area’s ever-evolving drug scene.