Minnetonka Pot Dealer to Police: 'I Was Robbed'

A Minnetonka man told police Joel Lavien put a gun to his head and took his pot and laptop.

A pot dealer from Minnetonka told police he was robbed of marijuana and his laptop by a customer who put a gun to his head.

On May 13, received information regarding a robbery that had occurred in Minnetonka. The information came from Brooklyn Center Police, who had the suspect in custody after a car chase and crash.

Joel Vah Lavien, 20, of Brooklyn Park has been charged in Hennepin County Court with one count of aggravated robbery in the first degree.

The man from Minnetonka told police he was selling marijuana to Lavien and his friend earlier in the evening when Lavien put him in a headlock and pointed a handgun at his head. After grabbing the pot and laptop, the man said he was hit with the pistol before the two ran out of the house. He told police that when he was hit with the gun, he could tell it was plastic, so he decided to chase after the men.

He chased them all the way to Brooklyn Park, where he crashed into Lavien’s vehicle. He told police while he was walking up to the vehicle to get his stuff, Lavien drove the car at him, so he jumped onto the car –grasping the sunroof. After the car stopped, he got into a physical fight with Lavien before he ran off. Police said they found the Minnetonka man attempting to get his stuff out of Lavien’s car.

If convicted, Lavien faces up to 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.


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