Three pounds of meth found in vehicle hitch

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 3, 2004

Tribune staff reports

A local agent with the South Central Drug Investigation Unit was involved with meth bust Tuesday night that brought in three pounds of crystal meth.

The officer was notified by a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent that a vehicle was going to be entering Minnesota on Interstate 35 at approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday, with what was assumed to be three pounds of crystal meth.

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Agents from the BCA, the drug investigation unit, the Hennipen County Drug Task Force and a Minnesota state trooper set up along I-35 from Albert Lea to Owatonna in an effort to locate the suspect vehicle.

At approximately 9 p.m., an undercover agent saw the vehicle at the intersection of I-35 and I-90 near Albert Lea, traveling north. The agent then notified others stationed north of his location. At approximately 9:30 p.m. the state trooper along with the S.C.D.I.U. agent stopped the vehicle on I-35 in Owatonna.

The people in the vehicle matched the description given to the agents from the BCA prior to the stop. Through a narcotics K-9, they were able to located the drugs in the car. The male driver and the male passenger were arrested and taken to the Steele County Jail to be detained until a search warrant executed on the vehicle.

Agents searched the vehicle and located three pounds of crystal meth inside of the rear hitch of the vehicle. The meth has a street value of $268,800.

Both males provided false names to the trooper and when agents met with the two men in the jail, they found out that they were both illegal immigrants.

Both are expected to be brought to Federal Court in the Twin Cities today for charges of first degree possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell.