Couple challenging drug charges involving gang strike forceby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A Brooklyn Park couple is challenging drug charges against them, in a case stemming from the operations of the now-disbanded Metro Gang Strike Force.
The strike force - which was shut down earlier this month - allegedly seized a stash of drugs from Warren and Jacquelyn Comeaux. Their attorney, Frederick Goetz, said officers took three plasma TVs, laptop computers, jewelry and other items.
"I'm not taking anything away from the broader purposes of this agency," Goetz said. "Gangs are a problem and you need to go after the gangs, and if the strike force was just focused on doing that, great.
"But if you have a search warrant that gives you authority to seize items of property, you seize those items. You don't seize items not on a warrant just to harass them, just to penalize them for not becoming snitches. And you don't seize stuff just to generate revenue for your agency."
Goetz has asked a Hennepin County judge to drop the drug charges. The FBI and an independent panel are reviewing the strike force. A legislative auditor's report said the unit did a poor job of tracking seized cash and vehicles.