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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.

Woman busted after posting she would "never be caught"

Throughout history, many people in Minnesota and elsewhere have gotten away with various crimes. However, most of them didn't make the mistake of drawing unwanted attention to themselves by taunting that they would "never be caught" on social media.

On Oct. 8, a 31-year-old woman wanted on 16 outstanding warrants was arrested in Michigan City, Indiana. She was taken into custody after members of the Twin Cities Apprehension Team found Facebook posts in which she claimed that she would "never" be apprehended for her alleged crimes. The team posted several of her messages on its Facebook page and began looking for her, searching various properties in North Dakota and Minnesota before locating her in northern Indiana. She was found less than 24 hours after TCAT officers posted her messages. A local informant reportedly told authorities where she was hiding out.

Daz Dillinger faces marijuana charges, reports say

Minnesota fans of musicians Daz Dillinger or Kanye West might be aware of a feud between the two that allegedly led West to take out a restraining order against Dillinger. West may have less to worry about on that account since Dillinger was taken into custody on marijuana-related charges.

The incident occurred outside Dillinger's home in Georgia on Sept. 25. In addition to 117 grams of marijuana, he had a vaporizer, oil, a container of liquid with the label "Cannabis Lean" on it and THC pods. He was charged with one count of possession of more than one ounce of marijuana and 12 counts of possession of a controlled substance. His bond was placed at $15,000.

NFL player detained on suspicion of DUI

Minnesota football fans may be interested to learn that Aaron Neary, currently a center on the Los Angeles Rams practice squad, was detained for driving while intoxicated on Sept. 16. The incident occurred in Simi Valley, Calif., during the early evening hours. Local police were alerted to the alleged incident when 911 calls began coming in claiming that a person was driving their vehicle erratically.

Witnesses alleged that the individual driving the vehicle had crashed into multiple objects, including mailboxes, trash cans and a bus stop sign. Furthermore, the motorist continued to drive erratically after the collisions. Officers located the vehicle and pulled over Neary, who was believed to be drunk after a Breathalyzer field test was administered. He blew a BAC level of .17 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit.

Investigation of narcotic sales in St. Cloud leads to 3 arrests

Agents from the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force arrested two women and one man in St. Cloud after investigating the Black P-Stone gang for heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine distribution. The investigation lasted several months. However, drug purchases by undercover agents ultimately enabled law enforcement to obtain a search warrant on Aug. 29 for the residence of a 25-year-old woman.

Police reported finding 40 grams of heroin in a shoebox at her home along with a .45-caliber bullet. Due to her conviction for assault in 2017, she had been banned from possessing firearms or ammunition. A charge for possessing ammunition as a felon accompanied her felony drug possession charge.

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