Man Charged with Cocaine Possession in Northfield
Police say Michael Antonio Burciaga had cocaine in his wallet when he was arrested in Northfield, even though he told officers he thought it was heroin.
A Minneapolis man has been charged with possession of cocaine in Northfield.
Michael Antonio Burciaga, 22, is charged in Rice County with fifth-degree drug possession, a felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
He also faces a misdemeanor charge of illegally possessing hypodermic needles, for which the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
A Northfield resident called police just after 11 p.m. Dec. 12 to report suspicious activity at Clifford's Car Wash on Woodley Street East, according to the criminal complaint.
The caller said a car was parked in one of the car-wash bays, with several people outside it and loud banging noises coming from the area. Two people were carrying items back and forth from the nearby laundromat.
An officer saw two people standing beside the car at the car wash, and two more men inside the car, one of them Burciaga. The officer told the two men to step out of the car.
Burciaga told the officer that they were hooking up new subwoofers in the car’s trunk. The officer spotted a CD case on the dashboard; the case had a white powdery substance on it, which he suspected was cocaine, according to the complaint.
Burciaga told the officer that he had just bought the car. As he handed over his driver’s license, his hand was shaking, and he was looking around nervously, the complaint says.
The officer determined that Burciaga had an outstanding warrant from Hennepin County and arrested him. While Burciaga was being searched, the officer found an elastic tourniquet; Burciaga admitted that he is a heroin user, but said he hadn’t had any for two days, according to the complaint.
The officer found a box of unused needles in the trunk, along with another tourniquet, a glass pipe in the glove box, cotton balls in a plastic bag and Naloxone, a drug referred to as an “adrenaline shot” that is used for someone who has overdosed, the complaint charges.
When Burciaga was searched again at the Rice County Jail, an officer found a small plastic bindle in his wallet containing cocaine, according to the complaint. Burciaga told police he thought the substance was heroin.
Burciaga made a first appearance on the charges Dec. 13 in Rice County District Court and was released on bond. No further court appearances have yet been scheduled.