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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
Andrew M. Luger, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, December 14, 2023

St. Paul Felon Sentenced to 10 Years in Drug Trafficking Case

MINNEAPOLIS — A South St. Paul felon has been sentenced to 120 months in prison for 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 Dec. 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. Based on his prior felony convictions, Nikiforakis was prohibited from possessing a firearm of any kind. Law enforcement officers successfully located Nikiforakis 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. Nikiforakis responded by ramming 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 – PMF 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. A subsequent review of Nikiforakis’s phone confirmed that he possessed the fentanyl for the express purpose of distributing the drugs to others.

Nikiforakis pleaded guilty on June 23, 2023, to one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. He was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court by Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright.

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 Violent Offender Task Force.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan L. Sing prosecuted the case.


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