Minneapolis man federally indicted on fentanyl distribution charges

A Minneapolis man has been indicted in federal court on charges of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Mohamed Salah Hussein

A south Minneapolis man has been indicted on charges of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl as a result of a federal search warrant executed this past February. 

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica H. MacDonald announced the indictment against Mohamed Salah Hussein, 25, on Monday. 

Hussein, a/k/a “Cheese,” was initially charged in a criminal complaint on Feb. 13, 2020. Authorities allege in the indictment and other documents filed in court that from November 2019 through February 11, 2020, Hussein conspired with others to manufacture and distribute large amounts of fentanyl pills, known to buyers as “Mbox” pills. The pills are referred to as such because they have an uppercase “M” inside a square or “box” imprinted on each pill, according to the original complaint. 

The February criminal complaint noted that the “Mbox” pills had been linked to several overdoses in and around Minneapolis. The complaint said that information provided to law enforcement indicated that Hussein had been primarily selling the pills in the parking lots of fast food restaurants located on the 200 and 300 blocks of West Lake Street in Minneapolis.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Hussein’s south Minneapolis townhome on the 3000 block of Blaisdell Avenue South on Feb. 11 and recovered approximately 1,000 fentanyl pills and a total of $31,285 in cash. Hussein was taken into custody at that time.

The criminal complaint explained that in November, Minneapolis Airport Police interdicted a FedEx package that contained a large number of fentanyl pills that had been sent from California and was addressed to an individual in Savage, MN.

The pills were repackaged by authorities and a controlled delivery was planned to the intended recipient at the Savage address.

After the package was delivered, law enforcement executed a warrant on the Savage residence. As they were doing so, Hussein and another person, identified in the complaint as D.K., arrived in Hussein’s vehicle. The men were detained during the search but were subsequently released; however, Hussein’s vehicle was seized and towed. A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle and authorities located a 9mm pistol inside the vehicle. 

A witness from the Savage address subsequently told law enforcement that Hussein and D.K. had retrieved similar packages from the Savage residence on two prior occasions. The witness said they had an agreement with D.K. to receive the packages at the address in exchange for $150.

Further investigation and surveillance lead law enforcement to identify an IP address Hussein was using that registered to the Blaisdell Avenue address, which was where his vehicle was also registered. The search warrant was subsequently obtained and executed in February and that’s when the pills and cash were seized. Hussein was arrested and admitted that he lived in the room where the items were found and that the property in the room belonged to him.

Hussein is being held in custody in Sherburne County Jail.

U.S. Attorney McDonald said the case is the result of an investigation conducted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department. 

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota