MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis man claimed his all-night parties with drugs and alcohol were raising money for north side tornado victims, but Minneapolis police said those parties were actually a haven for illegal activity.
Police officers raided the place near Hiawatha Avenue and Lake Street at about 3:15 a.m. Thursday.
In all, more than 70 people were cited and 12 were arrested and jailed for weapons, narcotics or outstanding warrants.
Police and neighbors said the illegal activity going on at the club got out of hand on a nightly basis.
“Some people sitting outside over there in the chairs and people going in and out,” said Ruhel Islam, who owns a restaurant on the same block just a few doors down.
Other neighbors complained for a few months till Minneapolis police busted the place.
“Unfortunately I thought the best of these people, and they took advantage,” said the building’s owner, who didn’t want to be identified.
He said Harrison, who was arrested in the raid, leased space for the non-profit he ran, called Zodiac MC. Harrison showed the building owner pictures of his group, and he also presented an official state certificate claiming his group was a non-profit. Non-profits don’t have to reveal to the state what they do, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
Harrison was booked into the Hennepin County Jail. Police officers who busted the place said he told them his parties raised money for north Minneapolis tornado victims, and the building’s owner said Harrison told him he needed a place to live after the tornado destroyed his home a few weeks ago.
When a WCCO-TV crew went to Harrison’s home, they found it still standing.
“They told us they were a charitable organization that did stuff around the holiday time, collecting toys for Toys for Tots,” said the building’s owner about a previous conversation he had with Harrison. He estimated a $2,000 to $3,000 bill to get the mess cleaned up.
Police recovered all sorts of drugs including heroin, cocaine and marijuana, along with two weapons.
Ruhel said he just hopes for better neighbors who are peaceful, not partiers.
“It’s a peaceful neighborhood,” he said. “We don’t want something bad to happen here.”