Seized meth worth $400,000

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Albert Morris Johnson

Burnsville man faces drug, weapons charges

A 35-year-old Burnsville resident and barbershop owner faces two first-degree drug charges and two weapons charges after a police search of his home allegedly turned up 12 pounds of methamphetamine.

The street value of the seized drugs exceeds $400,000, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a news release.

Albert Morris Johnson, 62 Riverwoods Lane, was charged May 3 with two first-degree controlled-substance crimes, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possessing a firearm with an altered or removed serial number.

“This case involved a large quantity of methamphetamine,” Backstrom said. “We are pleased that law enforcement has been able to seize this significant quantity of an extremely dangerous illegal drug and keep it from being sold on the street.”

Investigation led Dakota County Drug Task Force officers to obtain a search warrant for Johnson’s home and barbershop, according to the criminal complaint.

Officers began the search at about 1:10 a.m., entering the home after repeated knocks and announcements yielded no answer. Albert Johnson and Helen Johnson and two children, ages 1 and 17, were also inside, the complaint said. The adults were handcuffed.

Officers seized 20 items, including 24 bags of a clear crystal substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. They seized three handguns — one loaded and one with a destroyed serial number — a scale, $16,540 in cash, a money counter, and an electronic benefit transfer card.

Entering with a key Johnson provided, officers searched the barbershop — Q&A Barbershop at 2929 Cliff Road E. — at 2:50 a.m. Three items were seized, including a “suspected drug note,” the complaint said.

The first-degree drug charges allege sale and possession, both occurring when Johnson or an accomplice used or possessed a firearm.

Johnson was convicted of second-degree assault in Sherburne County in 2009, which made it illegal for him to possess firearms, Backstrom said.

Backstrom said he’ll submit Johnson’s case to the U.S. attorney’s office for possible charging under federal law. If federal charges are bought, the state charges will be dismissed.

Johnson’s bail was set at $1.5 million without conditions and $1 million with conditions. Johnson remained in custody Friday. His next court appearance is May 20 at 1:30 p.m. in Hastings.

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