Federal Jury Convicts Olmsted County Man for Drug Trafficking Conspiracy and Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

MINNEAPOLIS – A federal jury convicted an Olmsted County man for conspiring to distribute controlled substances and for possession with intent to distribute cocaine after being arrested with four kilograms of cocaine in his rental car, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

Following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Nancy E. Brasel, Christopher Allen Edwards, 39, was convicted on November 17, 2022, of one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, specifically, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later time.

According to the evidence presented at trial, in early 2021, law enforcement received information that Edwards was dealing drugs in the Rochester area. Law enforcement determined that Edwards and his co-conspirator, Chloe Michelle Johnson, 25, were dealing a variety of drugs throughout Rochester and Southeastern Minnesota, from May 2021 through October 16, 2021, the date of their arrest.

In October 2021, law enforcement tracked Edwards’ rental vehicle as he traveled to Austin, Texas, and back to Minnesota in a quick turnaround road trip. On October 16, 2021, law enforcement stopped Edwards and Johnson in Edwards’ rental car once they drove back into Olmsted County. Edwards was caught with four kilograms of cocaine in his backpack in his rental car. That same day, law enforcement executed search warrants on Edwards’ and Johnson’s residences and found various amounts of cocaine packaged for distribution, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.

On May 12, 2022, Johnson pleaded guilty to her role in the drug trafficking conspiracy. She is scheduled to be sentenced on February 9, 2023.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement Team, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan H. Nelson and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Hillary A. Taylor tried the case.