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Minnesota men face criminal charges after drug raid

Three Minnesota men face a raft of misdemeanor and felony charges after a search of their Lake Crystal home allegedly led to the discovery of illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, stolen property and a firearm. Agents from the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force say they searched the residence after receiving tips from local residents about suspicious activity including frequent brief visits. The men, who are 22, 25 and 30 years of age, heard the charges against them on Feb. 25 in Blue Earth County District Court.

According to court documents, the 22-year-old man was taken into custody without incident outside the residence when agents arrived at the West Humphrey Street home. The 30-year-old man was allegedly found in an upstairs bathroom with a syringe in his pocket that contained methamphetamine. Agents say that the bathroom also contained a glass plate and a bag containing more methamphetamine. Agents believe the man was attempting to dispose of evidence.

Minnesota man charged with DWI after high-speed chase

A 58-year-old Minnesota man may be regretting his decision to go out for some fast food on the afternoon of Feb. 13. The Clearwater resident was taken into custody by Stearns County police on drunk driving and felony fleeing charges after allegedly attempting to elude officers in a chase that reached speeds of up to 85 mph. The man is said to have told the officers that he fled in order to reach his house so that his pickup truck would not be towed.

The series of events began at about 3:30 p.m. when police received a call from a concerned motorist. The caller told emergency dispatchers that a black pickup truck had run a red light after leaving a fast food restaurant drive-thru and was being driven erratically on State Road 75 in St. Cloud. When officers signaled the pickup truck to pull over, they say the vehicle sped up and even crossed the center line to avoid being stopped.

Drug raid yields massive meth, cocaine haul

On Jan. 31, Minnesota authorities announced a massive drug bust that could be worth well over $1 million. The bust was made during a raid on a property in West St. Paul.

According to local media reports, officers from the Dakota County Drug Force executed a search warrant at the property and turned up 45 pounds of methamphetamine, 15.5 kilograms of cocaine and over $710,000 in cash drug profits. While an official estimate of the monetary value of the drugs has not yet been released, going rates in Minnesota suggest that methamphetamine alone could be worth over $1 million on the street. Meanwhile, the seized cocaine could have a street value of up to $527,000.

NFL player charged with DWI

Minnesotans who are NFL fans might be interested in learning that P.J. Williams, a cornerback for the New Orleans Saints, was arrested on Jan. 23 on suspicions of driving while intoxicated. Williams was reportedly arrested for drunk driving and careless driving at 1:10 a.m.

According to reports, Williams posted bond three hours after he was taken into custody. In 2014, when Williams was a starting cornerback for Florida State University, he reportedly drove into the pathway of another vehicle, resulting in an accident that totaled both vehicles. Williams allegedly fled the scene after the collision. According to records, his driver's license was under suspension at the time. Despite the circumstances, Williams was only issued two traffic tickets.

Court of appeals upholds man's delayed DWI conviction

In December, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the drunk driving conviction of a man who was charged more than two years after the incident originally occurred. The defendant, now age 29, is from Stewartville.

Court documents show that the defendant went out drinking on the night of Sept. 23, 2013. He then smashed his vehicle into a curb, causing a passenger to be ejected through the rear window. The defendant was transported to the hospital where a police officer obtained a blood sample from him. Tests of the blood sample showed that he had a blood alcohol content level of over .10, which is above Minnesota's legal limit of .08. Despite this, authorities did not actually charge him with any crimes until December 2015. At that time, he was charged with four counts of criminal vehicular operation and two counts of fourth-degree DWI. In 2017, he was convicted of three counts of criminal vehicular operation and sentenced to three years of supervised probation.

The basics of drug Manufacturing and cultivation

Manufacturing or cultivating illegal drugs is typically a crime in Minnesota and the rest of the United States. The only exception is with marijuana in some states under certain circumstances. Drug manufacturing refers to charges related to any steps taken to produce illegal drugs. Additional charges may apply to individuals who sell certain chemicals and equipment designed to aid in illegal drug production.

Drug manufacturing usually involves felony drug charges that may come with punishments such as extensive fines, prison time and/or probation. If schools or playgrounds are in the area where manufacturing took place prior to discovery of such operations, prison terms and fines may be doubled.

Meth accounts for most drug arrests in Minnesota

The opioid crisis has been in the headlines across the United States. Marijuana has also been featured in many headlines as more states are legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use. In Minnesota, there are more arrests across the state for methamphetamine than there are for opioids.

Approximately 37 percent of arrests in 2017 in Minnesota were drug-related, and about 74 percent of drug charges were for methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is the top reason for drug arrests in about 30 states.

Judge throws out felony drug charge against woman

On Nov. 2, a Minnesota judge dismissed a felony drug charged against a 37-year-old Osage woman. The case was heard in Becker County District Court.

According to media reports, the defendant was stopped by an officer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service while visiting the Waboose Lake public access on the morning of May 26. The officer searched her bag and found a black box that allegedly contained methamphetamine and other items of drug paraphernalia. The woman reportedly claimed ownership of the items. A deputy was called, and she was taken into custody and charged with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

Man ingests cocaine hidden in pants, has stomach pumped

A Minnesota man had to have his stomach pumped after he reportedly took cocaine that was hidden between his butt cheeks and ingested it while in police custody. The incident took place in mid-November in Rochester.

According to local media reports, Rochester police received a report about property damage by someone who could have a gun. Responding officers encountered the defendant, age 25, and searched him. While patting him down, they reportedly felt an object the "size of a bouncy ball" in the rear of his pants. They placed him under arrest and transported him to the local jail for processing. During the journey, he apparently retrieved the ball-shaped object, which was filled with cocaine, from his pants and ingested the drugs. After arriving at the jail, he began coughing. Officers then noticed white powder around his nose and took him to St. Mary's Hospital to have his stomach pumped.

The debate over who is too drunk to drive

Each day, an average of 29 people die from car crashes caused by drunk drivers. There may be fewer such crashes on roads in Minnesota and throughout America by lowering the legal blood alcohol content limit to .05 percent. This is according to the National Traffic Safety Board, which has suggested lowering the legal limit from its current .08 percent. Research from the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute found that 55 percent of Americans agree with that idea.

Furthermore, 44 percent said that the legal limit should be .00 percent. However, others say that lowering the limit could turn those who drink responsibly into criminals. This was among the concerns expressed when Utah decided to lower its legal blood alcohol limit to .05 percent for 2019.

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