A Waseca man has been charged with selling $600 worth of heroin to an undercover informant in the parking lot of a Northfield truck stop.
Thomas Rashaun Gibson, 30, is charged with third-degree drug sales, a felony with a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years.
According to the criminal complaint, an informant told police on Aug. 6 that a dealer known as “Rashaun” was selling heroin in the Northfield, Faribault and Owatonna areas. The informant arranged to meet the suspect at the Flying J truck stop near Interstate 35 and Highway 19, and ordered $600 worth of heroin, the complaint says.
An investigator met the informant and handed over $600 in pre-recorded “buy money.” The suspect, later identified as Gibson, called the informant, and the two discussed the price of the heroin, according to the complaint. Gibson told the informant, “It’s all rock,” the complaint charges.
Investigators set up video surveillance near the truck stop, and the investigator who drove the informant parked in the commuter parking lot across from the Flying J.
Gibson pulled into the commuter parking lot just before 6:30 p.m. The informant, equipped with a covert video recorder, got out of the undercover vehicle and got into the car with Gibson, who drove a short distance and parked within two parking spots of one of the investigators, according to the complaint.
Gibson and the informant completed the transaction, then the informant got out of Gibson’s car, and Gibson drove across Highway 19 and parked in the Flying J lot, the complaint says. Investigators recorded video of Gibson walking around outside his car and apparently meeting other people, according to the complaint.
Police weighed and tested the rock that the informant purchased from Gibson. It tested positive for heroin and weighed 2.7 grams.
Officers in Owatonna identified the suspect in the photos and video as Gibson.
On Aug. 16, police saw Gibson pull into the Flying J truck stop parking lot, and arrested him. A drug-detecting dog indicated the presence of drugs in Gibson’s car.
Authorities say there have been nine deaths in the Northfield area since 2006 related to heroin or opiate use.
Gibson, whose criminal record includes a drug-related conviction in Illinois, remains in the Rice County Jail on a $150,000 bond. He is scheduled to make an initial appearance on the charge Aug. 28 in Rice County District Court.