Guilty plea ends drug dealer's odyssey


The strange odyssey of Gabriel Pimentel-Espinal ended with a guilty plea to first-degree controlled substance and firearm charge and a sentence of 65 months in prison, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Pimentel-Espinal, 46, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday. Other cases involving possession of a large amount of methamphetamine were dismissed.

Pimentel-Espinal was arrested on April 3, 2018 for possession of methamphetamine and again five days later on more serious charges. However, early in the court process, he was deported to Mexico and a warrant was issued at the next court hearing in June 2018.

However, according to a criminal complaint, on Jan. 24, police saw Pimentel-Espinal at 334 E. Lake St. and knew about the warrant and arrested him. They found meth on him and in a backpack in the car he was driving, they found another 253 grams of the drug, more than $10,000 in cash, a digital scale and four cell phones. He was charged with one count of first-degree sale and one count of first-degree possession.

It looked like Pimentel-Espinal would be deported again so Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Elizabeth Scoggin obtained a court order to keep him in jail until the proceedings were complete.

In the drug possession with a firearm charge, the criminal complaint states that on April 8, 2018, police executed a search warrant at Pimental-Espinal’s home at 1153 Seventh St. N in Minneapolis. Police found two handguns and ammunition and more than 900 grams of methamphetamine and 485 grams of cocaine. They also seized more than $100,000 in cash. He admitted to being a drug dealer and that the guns and drugs were his.

Two other cases, including the earlier 2018 case and the Lake Street possession cases, were dismissed.  

Criminal Complaint of drugs,guns (PDF)

Criminal Complaint (PDF)