The Dakota County Drug Task Force and several other law enforcement agencies seized drugs estimated in value of $300,000 and approximately $10,000 worth of stolen goods on Tuesday as a result of an 11-month-long narcotics investigation in an effort to address growing illegal heroin use in the metro area, including in Dakota County, according to a release from the task force.
More than 75 officers of the task force; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension executed 14 search warrants related to Operation Huckleberry, an investigation that was expanded to include a crackdown on illicit sales and distribution of cocaine, ecstasy and firearms.
Among the drugs seized were 1 pound of cocaine, 3/4 pound of heroin, 172 pounds of marijuana, approximately 400 ecstasy tablets, six firearms, and counterfeit currency and production equipment.
Three people are facing charges as a result of the operation – two Bloomington residents a 19-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man and a 38-year-old man from Minneapolis.
Rikki Lee Gilow and Eric Michelle Hunter were each charged with 15 counts of distribution of controlled substances and two counts of using and carrying a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime.
Hunter was charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Jerry Anthony Harvey was charged with one count of distribution of heroin.
Additional conspirators are expected to be charged in Dakota County related to their involvement in the criminal organization, according to the release.