A 32-year-old Soudan man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to conspiring to distribute 500 or more grams of methamphetamine.
Frank Edward Popesh admitted to one count of conspiracy before District Judge David Doty in Minneapolis. Popesh was indicted Nov. 17.
In his plea agreement, Popesh admitted that from January of 2009 through October of last year, he conspired with others to obtain illegal substances, including methamphetamine, for distribution. They obtained the meth from a source in the Twin Cities and transported it to customers in northern Minnesota.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Popesh admitted that on Oct. 12, 2009, he obtained approximately two pounds of meth that he hid in the lining of a cooler. He was transporting it to northern Minnesota when stopped by the state patrol in Carlton County.
The state patrol seized the cooler and approximately $10,000 in cash. Just over a year later, on Oct. 18, 2010, Popesh was arrested on his way to meet a co-defendant to obtain more meth. He was arrested and a search warrant was executed at his Soudan residence, where a 26-plant marijuana grow operation and nine firearms were found.
The conviction is the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office, the Boundary Waters Drug Task Force, the Pine County Sheriff’s Office, the Cloquet Police Department, the state patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Popesh faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years. A sentencing date has not been set.