Alleged St. Paul cigarette thief who punched hesitant clerks charged
Kendall Bernard Russell had a system, investigators say.
He walked into a gas station and asked the clerk for three cartons of Newport 100 cigarettes.
If the employee handed them over, he grabbed the cartons and ran. If the clerk hesitated, Russell often threw a punch before making off with the loot.
That’s according to court documents filed in the case investigators are trying to build against Russell. He was charged Monday in Ramsey County District Court with one count of first-degree aggravated assault and a second charge of simple robbery.
The criminal complaint outlines only one incident, when Russell, 37, stole cigarettes after assaulting a clerk at a SuperAmerica store on West Seventh Street in St. Paul early Feb. 9, according to the criminal complaint.
But the St. Paul man is suspected in more than a dozen similar cases in St. Paul, Roseville, New Brighton and Minneapolis, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in late February in Ramsey County District Court.
Deputy commerce official arrested in prostitution sting
A deputy commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Commerce was among several men arrested in an undercover prostitution sting in St. Paul.
Police took Michael Shane Deal, 46, of Litchfield into custody on Tuesday, according to a police report.
Deal, who could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday, is deputy commissioner of the state commerce department’s financial institutions division.
He worked for nearly 20 years in the community banking sector. He previously was senior vice president and market president at Bank Midwest in New Ulm and market president of North American State Bank in Willmar.
The undercover prostitution detail at a hotel on Tuesday was “aimed at curbing demand,” said Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman. Deal “responded to an ad for sex and sexual acts,” according to a police report.
Police arrested five men, including Deal, and expect to present their cases this week to the St. Paul city attorney’s office for charging consideration, Linders said.
Deal is one of four deputy or acting deputy commissioners at the Commerce Department, which oversees many professional licenses, banks, telecommunications and other markets.
Forum News Service