Nationwide warrant issued for missing drug suspect

    The Dakota County district court has issued a nationwide arrest warrant for a drug suspect who failed to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing.  
   Manachan Omot Talian, 26, whose last known address was 14745 Portland Ave. #112, Burnsville, had been scheduled to face trial April 9 on two felony drug possession and sale charges, according to court records. The warrant was issued after Talian, who was released on $25,000 bail, failed to appear for a Jan. 3 hearing. The court did not order forfeiture of the bail money.
  Talian was one of two men charged with felonies following an Oct. 27, 2017 raid on his apartment by the Dakota County drug task force. Nearly 2.5 kilograms of marijuana was seized during the raid, according to court records.
    The second suspect in the case, Naydath Chol Makair, 21, also of 14745 Portland Ave. #112, Burnsville, is scheduled for trial April 30.
     Police found Talian hiding in a closet when they entered the apartment, according to police. He refused to leave the closet when ordered to do so by police, who used an unspecified amount of force to control the suspect, according to a criminal complaint filed with the court.
     Investigators found a cardboard box next to the closet. Inside a box found next to the closet where Talian was hiding, investigators discovered several bags of a green leafy substance that allegedly tested positive for THC, the active ingredient of marijuana. Police estimated the street value of the 2,398.46 grams at $25,000.
     Police found $465 in the cardboard box and $2,116 on Talian, according to court records.
   Talian was described in court documents as a 26-year-old, 6-foot-tall, 180-pound black male.

 Red Sparrow 
 flies off course

Sheriff will seek re-election

   Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie will seek re-election this November.
      “Four years ago, the people of Dakota County elected me to be their Sheriff and to continue the commitment to public safety long held by the women and men of this exceptional organization,” Leslie announced. “It has been my privilege to serve and today, I announce my campaign for re-election as Sheriff of Dakota County.”
   “We have much more to do,” Leslie said, including “establishing the Safety and Mental Health Alternative Response Training (SMART) Center in Dakota County so we ensure all first responders, including law enforcement, receive the best crisis response training possible, training the prepares our officers for today’s world.”
   The Sheriff also noted a need for “better engagement with Dakota County’s communities of color” and more collaboration with law enforcement agencies throughout the region.
   Leslie has 35 years of law enforcement experience and served as Chief Deputy before being elected Dakota County Sheriff four years ago.
   Leslie included among his accomplishments adding deputies and key staff, spearheading the creation of an electronic crimes task force, and hiring the first mental health coordinator for the county jail.
   The Sheriff announced his re-election campaign Tuesday, Feb. 27.
AV man suspected of marijuana sales
   An Apple Valley man has been summonsed to appear in Dakota County District Court March 5 on a felony marijuana sale charge.
   John Kartes, 44, of 8649 134th St. W., Apple Valley, has been charged with a single count of second-degree sale of a controlled substance, according to a criminal complaint. The charge stems from the execution of a search warrant at his home on Aug. 16, according to court records.
   During the search, police found “extensive spreadsheets resembling drug ledgers,” according to the criminal complaint. The packet included account names and balances owed, product lists, wholesale prices, retail prices at various weights and details regarding customer purchases, according to court documents. The interest rate charged on marijuana purchases was listed at 10 percent, an interest rate lower than most consumer credit cards.
  Police also found an electric money counter, more than $13,000, and more than 23 kilos of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana during the search, according to court records.

Appeals court rules domestic violence strangling "less serious than typical" crime

  The Minnesota Court of Appeals this week upheld a Dakota County district court judge’s reduced sentence for a Burnsville man convicted of trying to strangle his former girlfriend, reasoning the crime was “less serious than typical.”
  The appeals court reasoned a Dakota County District Court Judge Cynthia McCollum correctly sentenced Burnsville defendant Dominique Malone to probation, rather than the prison time required for a felony conviction, despite the victim's report to police that she feared for her life and had trouble breathing when Malone locked her in a chokehold while she was home with her children.
  The case stems from a December 2016 report of a domestic assault in Burnsville. The victim told police that her former boyfriend tried to strangle her when she refused to discuss their relationship. The victim reported the defendant, Malone, put her into a headlock, making it difficult for her to breathe and preventing her from screaming. She told police she thought Malone was going to kill her, according to court records.
  During the struggle, according to the court, Malone hit a closet door with enough force that the door unhinged and fell to the floor, prompting a neighbor to call 911. When police arrived, they noticed red marks on the victim’s neck and arrested Malone on a felony charge of domestic assault by strangulation.
  The prosecution sought to amend the complaint against Malone with an additional charge of domestic assault, causing fear of immediate bodily harm or death. Before the court acted on the proposed amendment, Malone entered an Alford plea to the original charge. In an Alford plea, a defendant admits there is sufficient evidence to convict him of a crime, but does not actually admit committing the crime.
  At his July 2017 sentencing, Malone, arguing that the crime was “less serious than the typical offense” asked to be sentenced as if the crime were a gross misdemeanor rather than a felony.
  District Court Judge Cynthia McCollum agreed, sentencing Malone to two years’ probation rather than jail time. The court noted that Malone had successfully completed probation for another misdemeanor and that “this crime is less onerous than the usual felony domestic assault by strangulation,” according to the opinion.
  “The district court’s reasoning here is supported by the record,” Judge Lucinda Jesson wrote for the Court of Appeals. “The court framed its justification for granting the downward departure based on the seriousness of the crime. This was proper.”
Man charged with use of stolen card
   An Apple Valley man is facing a felony charge stemming from the use of a stolen credit card.
 Robert Hall, 38, of 7675 142nd St. W., Apple Valley, was charged with felony financial transaction card fraud over $250, according to a criminal complaint. The victim reported she believed her credit card had been stolen while she was at a car wash where Hall worked, according to court records.
   Police allege Hall used the card for twelve fraudulent transactions at Kwik Trips in Apple Valley and Eagan on Dec. 12. The total of the 12 transactions was more than $650.