ST. PAUL — Minnesota law enforcement is working hard to put the brakes on street racing in and around the Twin Cities—and they're seeing positive results.
The Minnesota State Patrol and partner agencies have arrested eight people who had warrants related to dangerous street racing and other criminal activity in the Twin Cities. Evidence shows those arrested have played key roles in planning, promoting and participating in illegal street racing activities.
Law enforcement from several agencies, including the Minneapolis Police Department, the Fridley Police Department, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Minnesota State Patrol have worked over the past several months to investigate this dangerous and disruptive activity, which has left people injured and killed, put neighborhood safety in jeopardy, and caused thousands of dollars in property damage.
Following months of investigation, the Hennepin and Anoka county attorney offices charged nine individuals for various felony violations. Over a three-day period in July (22-24) seven of the nine people were taken into custody. An eighth person turned himself in Tuesday, Aug. 2. One is still at large, with investigators working to secure their arrest.
Malik Odessa Gillette, 24, First-Degree Criminal Damage
Desmond Lee Walker Jr., 23, Riot Second-Degree, First-Degree Criminal Damage
Isaac Abram Hernandez Quezada, 20, Riot Second-Degree
Brian Yair Solis Arteaga, 19, First-Degree Criminal Damage
Isac David Romero, 21, First-Degree Criminal Damage
Codey James Poolo, 18, First-Degree Criminal Damage
Ayoob Dawood Abdus Salam, 24, Riot Second-Degree
Elija Marcell Grove-Thomas, 24, Riot Second-Degree
“Street racing causes a major disturbance to neighborhoods, our roadways and puts innocent lives in danger," said Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer. “Our efforts to combat street racing and the other illegal activities that come along with it are working. We will continue working with our allied agencies while dedicating extra resources to stop this lawless and unacceptable behavior."
The Minnesota State Patrol first began street racing enforcement in the summer of 2021 and continued through the fall. Extra enforcement was restarted this spring across the Twin Cities, to include State Patrol helicopters and airplanes.
Stops and arrests made by troopers from April 2 to July 31, 2022:
Street racing isn't happening in just one community, and law enforcement agencies across the metro will continue working together to combat the illegal activity.
“Our law enforcement teams are dedicated to combatting the crimes committed by illegal street racers," said Interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman. “The threats to public safety and peace in our communities won't be tolerated and will be addressed through joint efforts like the ones that led to these criminal charges."
Fridley Police Chief Brian Weierke agrees, noting that law enforcement agencies are committed to holding those involved in street racing accountable for their dangerous and destructive actions.
“For those active participants and spectators who engage in conduct that destroys public and private property, harms others, and shows a blatant disregard for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians, these criminal charges are indicative of what you can expect," said Weierke. “Lawlessness will not be tolerated in our community."
About the Minnesota State Patrol
Nearly 600 Minnesota State Patrol troopers are the foundation of the agency that works to provide a safe environment on Minnesota's roads by assisting motorists, taking enforcement action and educating drivers about traffic safety issues. In addition to road safety activities, troopers conduct flight patrols, search and rescue missions and assist other law enforcement agencies.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 10 divisions where 2,200 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.