For Immediate Release
South St. Paul Felon Pleads Guilty in Drug Trafficking Case
MINNEAPOLIS – A South St. Paul felon has pleaded guilty to possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
According to the defendant’s plea agreement and court documents, on December 4, 2022, Nicholas Neil Nikiforakis, 34, posted a photo on Facebook that showed him in possession of a black firearm with a tan-colored extended magazine. Law enforcement officers were able to determine Nikiforakis’s location and conducted physical surveillance. When the defendant was spotted getting behind the wheel of a black Ford Explorer, officers attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle, but Nikiforakis rammed into a responding squad car and fled the area at a high rate of speed. He eventually crashed as he attempted a high-speed turn, hit a fire hydrant, and collided with a nearby building. The defendant fled on foot but was ultimately apprehended at the scene. A subsequent search of the black Ford Explorer revealed a black and dark green privately made firearm or “ghost gun” – with a tan-colored extended magazine in the center console with a large black bag that contained fentanyl pills, marijuana, and a digital scale.
Nikiforakis pleaded guilty on June 23, 2023, in U.S. District Court before Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright to one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan L. Sing is prosecuting the case.