News Item: Retired St. Paul cop surrenders himself in big drug bust
(Category: Blue GANG News)
Posted by
Wednesday 14 June 2006 - 13:14:51

The former St. Paul officer turned himself in after Minneapolis police seized about 22 pounds of cocaine and 8 pounds of methamphetamine.

Chao Xiong, Star Tribune

Last update: June 08, 2006 – 12:07 AM

Retired St. Paul police officer Clemmie H. Tucker turned himself in to Minneapolis police Wednesday afternoon in a drug case involving $4 million worth of cocaine and methamphetamine.

"There's nothing to compare it to," Capt. Rich Stanek said about the size of the seizure. "This is one of the largest, if not the largest," narcotics seizure for Minneapolis police.

Tucker's former colleagues said they were shocked to hear that the "big brother" figure who preached sobriety, staying away from gang activity and salvation from the streets through boxing was linked to 30 pounds of drugs.

"This is a very different place than what I would expect Clemmie to be in," St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington said Wednesday night. "Things seem to have just gone in a bad direction for him."

Last Friday, police seized a package at the Minneapolis Greyhound bus depot, 950 Hawthorne Av., that contained 10 kilos, about 22 pounds, of cocaine and 8 pounds of methamphetamine. Stanek said it is more typical to seize anywhere from about half a gram to half a kilogram of cocaine. A kilogram is about 2.2 pounds.

The drugs' estimated $4 million street value is conservative, Stanek said.

Security at the bus station in downtown Minneapolis told authorities that a man attempted to pick up the package but lacked proper identification, police said. A suspect was identified using a license plate and description.

Police divulged few details of the case, citing the ongoing investigation, but said Tucker, 55, turned himself in at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tucker, who was a Golden Gloves boxing champ as a teen, has not been charged.

St. Paul police spokesman Pete Crum confirmed that Tucker was a St. Paul officer for more than 20 years and retired in the late 1990s.

Former colleagues described Tucker as an outgoing, gregarious man who was enthusiastic about his work. They were careful to point out a suspect's presumed innocence until proven guilty.

"It hurts," said St. Paul Council Member Dan Bostrom, a retired St. Paul police sergeant. "It's distressing to all of us. Everybody tends to get painted with the same brush."

Bostrom said he never had an inkling that Tucker could ever get involved in something illegal. Harrington said Tucker worked briefly as a K-9 cop and in property crimes.

"Clem was extremely well-known in the department and a likeable guy," said St. Paul Police Federation president Dave Titus.

Off the clock, Tucker was known as a boxing enthusiast and trainer who ran B.T. Bombers boxing club in St. Paul. Harrington said graffiti anti-drug and anti-gang messages decorate the exterior.

Tucker trained St. Paul and suburban cops in his gym and helped with the police academy, said Harrington, who said he knows nothing about the drug case.

Just as recently as a month ago Tucker was talking about volunteering to help troubled teens find direction through boxing with the Police Activities League, the chief said.

Tucker groomed his son as a boxer, but that didn't stop the younger Tucker from falling into trouble.

Clemmie H. Tucker Jr. pleaded guilty this February to unintentional second-degree murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend last summer in Brooklyn Park. Angelina B. Garley, 27, was shot to death through her car window.

Minneapolis police spokesman Ron Reier said the U.S. attorney's office is also involved in the narcotics investigation because of the seizure's large size.

Police said the drugs came from out of state but would not say whether it was intended for sale in the Twin Cities.

"Drugs fuel our violent crime, so we're happy to get them off the streets," Stanek said.

Howie Padilla contributed to this report. Chao Xiong • 612-673-4391
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