A Robbinsdale man is facing serious drug charges after Golden Valley police say he asked them for a ride home, then turned out to have 7.5 grams of cocaine in his pocket.
Hiawatha Austin O’Neal, also known as Hiawatha Austin, 25, is charged with second-degree drug possession, a felony with a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of three years in prison and a $150,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, signed by Golden Valley Police Detective Dave Larson, police were called to a dispute involving a taxi driver in the area of Highways 100 and 55 at about 4:45 a.m. Sept. 30.
Police found O’Neal walking with a woman on the highway. Both had been passengers in the taxi, and officers noted that O’Neal was “extremely intoxicated.”
Police helped resolve the dispute with the cab driver, and O’Neal asked them for a ride home. Before they helped him into the squad car, officers frisked him for weapons and found a bulge in his pocket, which turned out to be suspected cocaine, according to the complaint.
The cocaine weighed 7.5 grams, or a quarter-ounce.
O’Neal’s criminal record includes two convictions for drug possession in 2005, and convictions for aggravated first-degree robbery and second-degree assault in 2006.
O’Neal remains in the Hennepin County Jail on a $30,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Nov. 26 in Hennepin County District Court.