Will prosecutors and courts ever take criminality seriously?

Duluth man convicted in stabbing case faces heroin charges for second time
By Tom Olsen on Mar 2, 2017 at 11:54 p.m.

Tyler Joseph Bizal
A Duluth man who was placed on probation after a stabbing at the then-new Steve O’Neil Apartments in April 2015 has been arrested on heroin charges for the second time in the past year.

Tyler Joseph Bizal, 22, also faces firearm charges after authorities said he was arrested with more than 50 grams of heroin and a loaded handgun during the execution of a search warrant Monday at a Lincoln Park residence.

Bizal was arraigned Wednesday in State District Court in Duluth on felony charges of first-degree sale of heroin and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

If convicted, Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Jessica Fralich said Bizal faces a significant prison term, with the drug charge carrying a maximum sentence of 30 years.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Shaun Floerke set his bail at $150,000.

Bizal was arrested when members of the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force executed a warrant at his residence, 2622 W. Fourth St., according to a criminal complaint.

Investigators said they found nearly 12 grams of heroin on his person, and a search of a bedroom closet turned up an additional 45 grams. The substance was packaged into individual plastic bags for sale, authorities said.

A fully loaded handgun also was located in a pair of jeans found inside a dresser, and investigators seized more than $1,000 in cash during the raid, according to the complaint.

Bizal was selling the drug from $160 a gram, investigators said.

Bizal in September 2015 was granted a stay of imposition and sentenced to three years of supervised probation after the pleading guilty to third-degree assault. He admitted to stabbing a 45-year-old man multiple times with a knife during an altercation at the Central Hillside building, where both men were visitors.

Just a few months later, in March 2016, he was arrested on a felony controlled substance charge when authorities said they seized approximately 5 grams of heroin from Bizal and another man.

He served nearly a full year in the St. Louis County Jail after that arrest, getting released after being sentenced Jan. 27 on a third-degree sale of a narcotic charge. Judge Mark Munger placed him on five years of probation at that time, but said he could be discharged after three years if he avoided any violations.

Bizal’s next court appearance is set for March 22.

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