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14 Charged For Selling Crack In Undercover Investigation

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fourteen people were charged Monday in connection with an alleged cocaine and crack ring in Minneapolis.

The charges were filed after several months of an undercover investigation that surrounded Champions Bar in the 100 block of West Lake Street.

The people charged includes, 38-year-old Araya Woldeselassie 40-year-old Gene Thomas, 38-year-old Tyrone Strother, 34-year-old Derrick Wade, 47-year-old Lawanda Oliver, 49-year-old Sidney Hornes, 26-year-old Mitchell Douglas and 42-year-old Tracy Nielsen, all of Minneapolis, 46-year-old Michael Duke, of Bloomington and 46-year-old Vera Drew, of Brooklyn Park.

Investigators say between September of 2011 and January of 2012, undercover officers made five narcotics purchases inside the bar, seven purchases that began on bar property but were completed elsewhere and six purchases from the bus stops or sidewalks near the bar.

Police also investigated an incident of marijuana being smoked on the bar patio.

In total, undercover officers bought cocaine and crack cocaine 19 times during the investigation.

Eleven of those charged will appear in court at a future date. Three of the suspects have warrants issued for their arrests.

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