Someone sent three packages from California to a home in the 4700 block of Sixth Street NE, Columbia Heights, last month, according to police.
Together they contained 36.3 pounds of marijuana worth as much as $180,000, according to a criminal complaint filed in Anoka County District Court. (Click on the PDF thumbnail to see the complaint, or visit the Anoka County courts website.)
A relative of one of the residents, 32-year-old Emmanuel Esparza of Minneapolis, had arranged for the packages to arrive there, saying he had ordered car parts but couldn't be at his own home to receive the delivery, the complaint says.
On Feb. 25, 2013, according to the complaint, a Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport police officer dressed in the uniform of a UPS delivery driver delivered three packages that police had already discovered contained marijuana.
Police officers about 30 minutes later executed a search warrant at the residence and found the packages unopened. During the search, the defendant arrived in a grey Mercedes, according to the complaint.
Esparza faces two counts of possessing marijuana that carry a maximum of 25 years in prison and as fines of as much as $260,000, if he were to be convicted.