Last week, the Hennepin County sheriff's department announced progress in their valiant struggle to rid the west metro area of herb.
Cannabis sativa—or, as the kids call it, "da gigglebush"—is indigenous to central Asia and has been used by humans for centuries. When smoked, the plant is known to elicit feelings of euphoria and heighten senses of taste, sound, and color.
In modern times, however, the herb is better known for its tendency to attack unsuspecting victims unprovoked. Even worse, the insentient foliage often targets families, which is why our local officials took time out last week to call for stepped-up warfare against the weed's malevolent photosynthesis.
"We have to increase the war on these local marijuana growers to keep families safe," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said in a press release. "We are seeing large increases in the number of local marijuana grow operations and the violent crime that comes along with these drug crimes."
Cannabis plants recently seized by county officials are up to three times more potent than pot of yore. Highly sophisticated grow houses in affluent suburbs have allegedly been cultivating some dank bud with up to 18 percent THC.
But the "high" quality comes at a price: The good stuff costs $4,000 per pound vs. $1,200 for schwag. —Matt Snyders
Who's the Real Terrorist?
On December 4, shortly before 5:00 p.m., Eagan police officers were dispatched to a business in the 4000 block of Blackhawk Road to investigate a bomb threat. The person who called in the threat warned that the bomb would explode in 30 minutes.
Almost immediately, however, the person called back and identified himself as 53-year-old Dennis James Heinen. He told the cops that there was no bomb. He simply was homeless and looking for a place to stay.
Heinen got his wish. He's currently booked into the Dakota County Jail and has been charged with one count of making terroristic threats.
Two days later, Apple Valley police were dispatched to a Holiday gas station on 149th Street to look into reports of a stolen blue Ford Escort. En route to the store, an officer spotted a car that matched that description and began following it.
The Escort proceeded to accelerate to approximately 80 mph, and started weaving in and out of traffic. It hit a total of five vehicles while attempting to evade the officer. The driver then stopped the car and fled on foot.
Apple Valley officers eventually detained the suspect and identified him as 22-year-old Travis Ryan Raymond. While being transported to jail, he purportedly stated, "I don't care what happens. I want to go to jail."
Raymond also got his wish, but has since been released on bail. The Minneapolis resident has been charged with fleeing a police officer. —Paul Demko
Lost in Translation
Last Tuesday, police officers responded to reports of a car weaving in and out of traffic and crashing into a light pole in northeast Minneapolis. The officers soon found 31-year-old Scott Sahatoo walking away from the wreck. According to a criminal complaint, Sahatoo was wobbly, had bloodshot eyes, and reeked of booze. He also admitted to drinking. But he said he hadn't been driving the car and refused a breathalyzer. The officers, seeing through his clever ruse—there was only one set of footprints in the snow leading from the car—placed him under arrest. But when the cops tried to read him the implied-consent advisory, explaining that refusal of a sobriety test is a crime, Sahatoo said he wasn't getting it.
He needed an interpreter, he announced.
Okay, said one of the cops, for what language?
"English," he said. —Jonathan Kaminsky
The Penalty for Cutting Off a Cop's Finger
You've probably never wondered what kind of time you'd do for removing a cop's finger at the knuckle. Here's the answer just the same: six and a half years.
Last May, 40-year-old William Rufus Graves got into a scuffle with an officer at the Red Lake Detention Center. He kicked a cell block door closed and caught the officer's finger, which came off at the knuckle. Last week, Graves, a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, was shipped off to a federal penitentiary.
The U.S. attorney convicted Graves of violating a host of arcane-sounding laws, including "assaults within maritime and territorial jurisdiction" and "offenses committed within Indian country." There is a rich history behind this legal jargon, but let us not wade so deep that we neglect the primal heart of this matter: "OUCH! DAMN!" —Jeff Guntzel
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.