Large heroin dealer convicted in Bloomington case


A Hennepin County jury convicted a Prior Lake man of possession and sale of a large amount of heroin, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

The jury convicted Igor Albantov, 30, late Friday afternoon after deliberating about four hours. He will be sentenced May 26 and prosecutors are seeking a prison term of 11 years, the most allowed under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines.

“This office, along with county attorneys throughout Minnesota, worked hard last year to get the Minnesota Legislature to go easier on people possessing and selling a small amount of drugs,” Freeman said. “At the same time, we successfully argued for longer sentences for bigger dealers and Mr. Albantov is a perfect example. We will be asking for a long prison term.”

Albantov was convicted of first-degree sale of heroin and first-degree possession of 25 grams or more of heroin.

According to the criminal complaint and testimony at the trial, Bloomington police were patrolling the area around the Extended Stay motel, 7956 Lyndale Ave. S. when they watched Tysen Keezer walk out of the bushes and approach a vehicle.  The officers walked up to Keezer and began questioning him, making him nervous.

While they were talking to him, a woman got out of the vehicle and walked to Keezer, who reached into his pocket, pulled out a small, black stun gun and handed it to the woman. At that point, police talked to Keezer, the woman and a man in the vehicle and got their consent to search the automobile, the complaint states.

The officers found heroin and Keezer told police he snorts the drug and just purchased it from Albantov. Police then noticed a man in the motel parking lot, who matched the description of Albantov, leaning into a tan vehicle. A police dog indicated there were drugs in Albantov’s vehicle and a search found nearly 44 grams of heroin. According to testimony at the trial, that would be enough for 215 to 430 doses Albantov could sell. He also was carrying $3,247 in cash.

Also in the car was a woman’s purse belonging to Natalie Hersch, according to the complaint. She was arrested with .88 gram and heroin in Keezer’s vehicle weighed 1.7 grams.

Hersh pleaded guilty earlier this year to possession and was sentenced to three years on probation. Keezer is in a diversion program.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)

Update: On May 26, Judge Chu just sentenced Albantov to 110 months in prison.