A report of an Apple Valley felon armed with a handgun and under the influence of methamphetamine prompted a SWAT team response in Hastings on April 16.
Aaron Paul Hamilton, 26, faces one felony first-degree count of possession of a controlled substance and one felony count of illegal possession of a handgun following an hours-long police incident at an apartment complex in Hastings. If convicted on the possession charge, Hamilton could face a maximum of 40 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
The incident began when police received a tip around 8:30 p.m. that Hamilton, who was wanted on an outstanding warrant, was staying at an apartment in Hastings. The apartment tenant gave police permission to enter, and warned police that Hamilton was allegedly high on meth and in possession of a loaded silver and black handgun, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Dakota County Sheriff's Office.
Police entered the apartment and apprehended a woman, who told officers that Hamilton may be hiding in a rear bedroom. Police yelled out to Hamilton, and after receiving no response, called in a SWAT team, which entered the rear bedroom area, only to learn that Hamilton had already escaped through a rear window, according to the complaint.
While officers were waiting for a search warrant that would enable them to conduct a comprehensive examination of the apartment, police discovered Hamilton a short distance away. Officers believed that Hamilton, who had no winter clothing and was outside in 35 degree weather, was returning to the apartment to give himself up.
During a search of the apartment, investigators found a .40 caliber handgun with a loaded magazine, two extra magazines for the pistol, drug paraphernalia and multiple baggies containing a crystal substance later determined to be methamphetamine. Altogether, police found more than 30 grams of meth.
Hamilton has a 2004 conviction for a DUI, 2006 convictions for possession of a controlled substance and receiving stolen property, another 2006 convicton for fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, a 2008 conviction for terroristic threats and a 2011 conviction for possession of a controlled substance.
Because of his criminal history and prior felony convictions, he is forbidden under Minnesota law from possessing a gun.