Police arrest four in gang-related drug sales schemeAfter several complaints from residents of the Fond du Lac Reservation, Cloquet police officers set up an undercover drug sting operation that resulted in the June 29 arrest of four people involved in the sale of crack cocaine.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
After several complaints from residents of the Fond du Lac Reservation, Cloquet police officers set up an undercover drug sting operation that resulted in the June 29 arrest of four people involved in the sale of crack cocaine.
Tiago Antonio Gilbert, 19, and Henry Yakima Thinelk, 24, both from the Twin Cities area, and local residents Amanda Verle Reynolds, 20, and Little Fawn Fohrenkam, 27, were arraigned last Thursday, July 1, in Carlton County Court. All four were charged with controlled substance crime in the third degree (felony sale of a narcotic drug), while Gilbert and Thinelk had additional charges of crime committed for the benefit of a gang.
According to the criminal complaint, subsequent police investigation revealed that Gilbert and Thinelk are allegedly members of the “21st Street Boys,” a Native American metro-area gang, and supplied the crack cocaine to sell to local drug users known by Reynolds and Fohrenkam.
The alleged crack cocaine sale was monitored by police through observation and recording devices worn by the police informant making the purchase, which was paid for with marked currency. According to the complaint, Reynolds drove her car, then got out to make the sale in the informant’s vehicle. When she returned to her car, she gave the money to Thinelk, who was the front seat passenger in her car. After driving away, Thinelk threw the currency into the back seat toward Gilbert just before police stopped the vehicle. After the arrest, $5 of the marked currency was found in the back seat, while Gilbert had $395.
Assistant County Attorney Michael Boese was the prosecuting attorney last Thursday. Boese asked for high bail for Gilbert and Thinelk in particular, but noted that he believes all four of the suspects were “equal in culpability.” Boese noted he believes both men are a flight risk, despite the fact that Thinelk is a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair.
“I understand that he is in a wheelchair, but that doesn’t stop his criminal activity,” Boese told the judge. “In fact, he bragged … that [gang activity] is how he became paralyzed.”
According to police, Thinelk has gang tattoos on his face and arms, and Gilbert had a pen and ink gang-symbol drawing on his hand and arm.
Bond was set for Gilbert at $75,000 and Thinelk at $80,000. Bond for Reynolds was set at $40,000 and Fohrenkam at $10,000.
Boese had asked for $50,000 bond for Reynolds, stating that “her role was to set this up,” and noting that she was the person who actually exchanged the drugs for money.
Boese said he thought Fohrenkam was probably “the least culpable” of the four.
Still, in this case, it’s likely that no one will get a pass.
“If this were a federal case, they likely would have been charged with conspiracy,” Boese said after the hearing. “We don’t really have an equivalent law here, but in Minnesota, you’re also kind of liable for the entire crime. Everyone
kind of had a part to further the whole transaction.”
Gilbert’s next court appearance is set for July 14, while Thinelk, Fohrenkam and Reynolds are scheduled to appear again the morning of July 12.