The Southwest Metro Drug Task Force confirms it is investigating the brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson over suspicions of drug dealing -- but the case may not stick because of a technicality.
Ashton Stevenson is one of Adrian Peterson's 14 siblings, and is occasionally included in Peterson's personal entourage. For the time being, Peterson is paying the rent on his town home -- a location that was raided by police 12 days ago. Stevenson was arrested for narcotics on May 31st, but he was released 72 hours later without charges. The case is still considered open and under investigation.
The investigation began with a package of marijuana at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The package came by FedEx from California, with the $81.37 shipping costs paid in cash. Inside, police found shrink-wrapped bags of marijuana.
The package was sent from a nonexistent address in Sacramento and was addressed to a town home on Regency Lane in Eden Prairie under the name Allen Greene, a person who apparently doesn't exist in Minnesota. Someone else does live there, however: Ashton Stevenson.
"I don't know any details yet," Stevenson said of the investigation. "I'm just trying to make calls to figure out what's going on."
According to a search warrant, the Southwest Metro Drug Task Force conducted surveillance on the home. Detectives claim Stevenson was outside and appeared to be "expecting a package to be delivered" when the FedEx truck drove by. When the truck left, he went back inside empty-handed.
Police were back the next day for what they call a "controlled delivery." A detective was driving the FedEx truck and dropped off the package. They came back hours later with the search warrant -- but no one had opened the box.
The unopened package was found in the trunk of Stevenson's Mercedes, and police said they found a small container of marijuana and an electronic scale inside the home. That's when police made the arrest, but the formal charges never came.
Sources told FOX 9 News the investigation remains active, and Stevenson does have a record of arrests on marijuana possession in Texas and domestic calls in Minnesota.
The NFL MVP has many siblings -- 10 on his father's side, and four on his mother's, and to some extent, he seems to be his brother's keeper. He had been paying his brother's rent, and FOX 9 News saw the canceled check for $7,500 paid directly to the landlord.
Yet, police were unaware the two were brothers until Stevenson volunteered that information. As the saying goes, you can choose your friends, but not your family.
"This type of nonsense I don't need on my background or my brother's," Stevenson said.
No charges have yet been filed because it would be difficult for prosecutors to show what they call "constructive possession" without him opening the box, but the investigation continues. Meanwhile, the owner of the town home is trying to evict Stevenson and his girlfriend for a second time. The first attempt regarded late rental payments, and the second attempt was spurred by the drug raid. The two have now applied for rental assistance from Hennepin County.
On May 30, 2013 the Southwest Metro Drug Task Force received a tip from an Airport FedEx manager about several suspicious packages. Detectives were suspicious of the packages because the shipping was paid in cash and no signature was needed for delivery. A K-9 alerted police to the presence for marijuana in all the packages, except the one sent to "Allen Greene" at the Eden Prairie address of Ashton Stevenson.
According to the search warrant, a Fed Ex employee opened that package, discovering four, shrink wrapped bags of marijuana. The FedEx employee told the detectives he was trained by FedEx to deal with hazardous good. The detective says at no time did he instruct the employee to open the parcel.
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