News from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office

Plus more news


February 26, 2016


Mike Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney 12-2013

Michael O. Freeman
Hennepin County Attorney
300 S. Sixth St.
Minneapolis, MN  55487

Find us on Facebook




We serve justice and public safety through our commitment to ethical prosecution, crime prevention, and through innovative and reasoned client representation.


Court Watch gives your community a voice

“When some burglaries and robberies hit our block, I didn’t feel like there was a good way to voice my concerns. Writing Impact Statements gave me that voice and I know that it was heard by the officers and judges that matter.”

  – Brandon, Fourth Precinct resident

Court Watch is a community-led, collaborative approach to criminal justice. Community members partner with police, prosecution, probation and others to monitor criminal cases within the court system. Community members also write impact statements describing how an offender’s conductimpacts their own lives, as well as those of families, businesses and the neighborhood. The statements are provided to judges at sentencing and help educate them about how communities are affected by crime.

A neighborhood where illegal gun possession, drug trade and misdemeanor livability crimes occur jeopardizes a person’s perception of safety at home, in school and at businesses.The Court Watch goal is to protect neighborhoods from criminal activity. Court Watch members seek sentences that are appropriate, that hold the defendant accountable and restore neighborhood safety.

Currently, Court Watches exist in the First, Second, Third and Fourth precincts of Minneapolis. The type of crimes each precinct’s Court Watch monitors varies with the community’s needs. For more information, email Managing Attorney Gail Baez, Community Engagement:

Running Spotted Cow out of Wisconsin costs two Minnesotans a felony

Spotted cow logo

The case of the Spotted Cow keg runners resulted in the Maple Tavern’s owner and bar manager each being charged with a single felony of transporting alcohol into Minnesota for resale, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman recently announced.

Brandon Hlavka, 37, of St. Michael and David Lantos, 28, of Brooklyn Park were charged Feb. 4 and will make their first court appearance on March 2.

“While this is far from the most serious crime we’ve had to prosecute, businesses must follow the laws the legislature passes to make sure the competition is fair and the products are safe for consumers,” Freeman said.

According to the criminal complaint, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division received a tip that the Maple Tavern in Maple Grove was illegally importing and selling Spotted Cow beer. The beer is brewed by New Glarus Brewing Co. in that south-central Wisconsin city and it is not a licensed manufacturer in Minnesota, nor are its brews licensed or sold in Minnesota.Read more.