Skip to main content

Pot and pies available at St. Paul pizza joint leads to charges


A pizzeria run by three generations of family is the subject of criminal charges for its use of an unusual topping – marijuana.

Police say that dozens of pounds of marijuana were discovered at Papa Dimitri's Classic Pizza and Ice Cream, at Hamline and Randolph avenues in St. Paul, as well as at the home of the owner's 82-year-old grandmother, according to the Pioneer Press.

The newspaper notes that officers became suspicious when they noticed that the restaurant sold fewer than a dozen pizzas a week, none of its staff ate there, and there didn't seem to be any heat.

The owner Ryan Dimitri Brooks Sr., 27, his mother Rosalyn Mary Brooks, 61, his grandmother Joyce Elaine Merkley, 82, and a woman he lived with, Lena Shalay Kirk, 24, were charged Friday in Ramsey County District Court with multiple felonies, including conspiracy to sell marijuana, cocaine possession, illegal possession of a handgun by a felon, and engaging in business or concealing criminal proceeds.

The Star Tribune reports that the pizza parlor received $189,891.82 in cash deposits in its bank account between Jan. 1, 2013, and Oct. 31, 2014, according to the charges, which also state that Brooks had allegedly admitted to using the pizzeria to launder drug money while he was incarcerated in 2008 and 2009.

The newspaper adds that police surveillance between Nov. 18-23 found that Rosalyn Brooks opened the parlor in the late afternoon, and that over six days it only had five customers and four deliveries.

Reviews of the pizzeria online are not positive. One on Yelp says: "I've defrosted better pizza on my engine block. A cracker thin crust with greasy cheese. Overpriced and slow as heck."

Another, by Greg, on GrubHub, said: "Delivery took an hour and 45 mins, the pizza was luke-warm when I received it. There wasn't any sauce on the pizza. Half way through eating it the crust turned to rubber."

Next Up

foo fighters grohl mr rossi wikimedia

Foo Fighters abruptly cancel Gophers stadium show hours after announcing it

The band is looking for a new venue because of a disagreement over COVID protocols.


LUSH in Minneapolis to reopen under new ownership in December

FOX 9's Jason Matheson and two popular performers are among the new owners of the revived bar and restaurant.

unsplash roller blade close

Lace up: Indoor skating returns to US Bank Stadium this winter

The venue announced 13 Winter Warm-Up dates for both skaters and runners.


More than 1,500 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in MN

Minnesota's hospital systems continue to be under tremendous strain.

state patrol

3 killed in trio of crashes in Minnesota on Monday

The crashes happened in St. Louis, Winona and Carver counties.


Foo Fighters reveal 2022 Twin Cities tour stop

The show will require proof of COVID vaccination or a negative test.

MSP airport

Police investigating after large fight caught on video at MSP Airport

People threw punches, broke chairs and tossed stanchions during the incident.

Hennepin County Government Center

Driver who killed innocent man, dog while drag racing is sentenced

The victim and his dog were struck while trying to cross the street.


Shake Shack's first drive-through to open in Maple Grove next week

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Shake Shack to become more accessible.

kimberly potter

Brooklyn Center increases communication ahead of Potter's trial

The former officer is charged in the death of Daunte Wright. Her trial begins Tuesday with jury selection.


Reports: Gophers won't retain offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr.

Minnesota's passing attack hasn't been the same under Sanford Jr.