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Minneapolis man gets 21 years after Duluth drug bust

A Minneapolis man with 14 felony convictions -- who Duluth police arrested twice in a month on drug charges -- was sentenced Monday to 21 1/2 years in prison after being deemed a career criminal by a St. Louis County jury.

Andrew Wayne Clarke
Andrew Wayne Clarke, 46, was convicted on Dec. 14 of second- and third-degree controlled substance crimes for selling or possessing with intent to sell heroin (Photo courtesy of St. Louis County Jail)
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A Minneapolis man with 14 felony convictions -- who Duluth police arrested twice in a month on drug charges -- was sentenced Monday to 21½ years in prison after being deemed a career criminal by a St. Louis County jury.

Andrew Wayne Clarke, 46, was convicted on Dec. 14 of second- and third-degree controlled substance crimes for selling or possessing with intent to sell heroin. Following his conviction on those crimes, St. Louis County prosecutor Kristen Swanson presented evidence to jurors that Clarke was a career offender. To reach that finding, jurors had to affirm that Clarke's offenses were felonies, that he had five or more previous felony convictions and that the present offense was part of a pattern of criminal conduct. Jurors answered yes to all three questions.

On Monday in State District Court in Duluth, Judge Eric Hylden sentenced Clarke to 258 months in prison, double the state sentencing guidelines.

Investigators with the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force arrested Clarke on two outstanding warrants on Sept. 12 when he arrived on a shuttle at a Duluth hotel. He was searched and a baggie containing heroin was found in his front jeans pocket. Eight more small baggie packets containing heroin were found in another of his pockets, according to the criminal complaint.

Swanson said Clarke's criminal history spans several decades. He was incarcerated as an extended juvenile jurisdiction offender in Red Wing in 1982. She said he spent 4,911 days behind bars since then.

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Clarke has three other pending drug cases against him in St. Louis County with another trial scheduled for March 5 before Hylden.

Related Topics: CRIME
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