Fewer alcohol-related crashes in county
BY LUTHER DORR
Dr. A. Quinn Strobl, who took over last year as medical examiner for Mille Lacs County, gave her annual report to members of the County Board at their Sept. 21 meeting.
Three deaths in the county were a result of vehicle crashes, the lowest number in the past four years.
A 48-year-old man jumped from a moving vehicle, a 44-year-old man was ejected from his vehicle, which then rolled on top of him, and a 40-year-old man lost control of his snowmobile.
Strobl said none of the incidents involved alcohol.
Seven people died of accidental deaths not related to motor vehicles, four of them due to prescription drug toxicity due to overuse or misuse.
Some of those deaths involved alcohol, including one where a 43-year-old man fell from a tractor and was pinned.
Two of the accidental deaths were from complications sustained in a fall by people 90 and 99 years old.
There was one death attributed to suicide, three fewer than the year before.
There were no deaths classified as homicides in Mille Lacs County last year.
Three deaths were classified as having an undetermined cause.
A nine-month-old girl with no significant injury or natural disease died under unknown circumstances. A 43-year-old woman with a terminal disease died due to a medication error. And a 39-year-old man died following an “excessive intake of pills and alcohol.”
A set of bones was examined and identified as non-human.
Drug task forces, BCZ nab four
BY DAWN REEDE
Four people were arrested Thursday, Sept. 16 following a drug deal that took place at the Mille Lacs Grand Casino.
Agents with the North Central Drug Task Force, the Lakes Area Drug Task Force, the Mille Lacs Tribal Police, the Mille Lacs Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) were involved in the investigation.
North Central Drug Task Force agents and BCA agents were conducting surveillance at the casino for narcotics sales.
Authorities first nabbed Susan Anne Sonterre, 35, of Fridley after she left the casino.
During the police interview with Sonterre, she produced a bag of marijuana from her bra area, a bag of meth from her pants pocket and another bag with meth that was in her groin area. The meth totaled .7 grams.
She admitted purchasing the drugs at the casino.
A traffic stop of another vehicle was conducted and three more were taken into custody. Inside the vehicle, there were two separate cigarette packs that had 1.4 grams and 7.7 grams of meth each. The glove box had a container with 15 grams of meth and a digital scale.
Sonterre was charged with fifth degree possession of a controlled substance and faces up to five years in prison. She was also charged with having a small amount of marijuana. She was released on $2,000 bond on Monday, Sept. 20.
Jamila Lowana Martin, 33, of St. Paul has been charged with second degree controlled substance and faces up to 25 years in prison. She has also been charged with fourth degree sale (up to 15 years in prison), fifth degree possession (up to 5 years in prison) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Unconditional bail was set at $50,000 and conditional bail was set at $10,000.
She was released to another agency on Sept. 20 for violating her probation.
Emily Christine Carlstrom, 22, (right) of Farmington was charged with second degree possession and faces up to 25 years in prison, fifth degree possession (up to 5 years) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Carlstrom was released on $5,000 bail on Sept. 20.
Adam Michael Swenson, 27, of Maplewood was charged with second degree possession and faces up to 25 years in prison, fourth degree sales (up to 15 years), fifth degree possession (up to 5 years) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Swenson’s unconditional bail was set at $50,000 and $10,000 for conditional bail. He is being held for another agency on a first degree burglary charge.
The Mille Lacs County Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the cases.
Two thieves also get buster for drugs
BY DAWN REEDE
Two men were tracked down by a victim and police for receiving stolen property, but are facing more prison time for the drugs they had in their possession.
According to the criminal complaint, Mille Lacs County Deputy Bret Erickson received information from Sherburne County to watch for an SUV pulling a trailer and heading north on 75th Avenue from Highway 95. The officer was told a theft or burglary had taken place in Sherburne County and the suspects were believed to be in the SUV.
The homeowner had been having problems with items being stolen from his property, so he installed a GPS tracker in his snowblower.
On Thursday, Sept. 23, the 28-year-old watched the men load the items on the trailer and contacted Sherburne County authorities. He was able to give a description of the men and the SUV they were driving.
Princeton Police Officer Matt Mullins located the vehicle, which no longer had the trailer attached.
Brian Lee Hass, 31, of Ogilvie and Gary Michael Hatfield, 30, (right) of Princeton were ordered to shut off the vehicle and get out.
In plain view, the officer saw two glass pipes with white residue on the floor and two white plastic bags. One bag contained 6.3 grams of meth, the other contained .4 grams of meth.
Investigator Don Lorge located the trailer with the stolen items utilizing the GPS tracker information and found the trailer at a residence on 75th Avenue. A note taped to the door of the home said, “Had tire problems pick up trailer in morning Brian call me.” The back side of the note had the name Brian Hass on it.
The homeowner was able to identify the stolen property, including an air compressor and tools.
Hass has prior convictions for first degree possession of a controlled substance in 2003 in Anoka County, fifth degree possession in 2001 in Kanabec County, a felony theft and felony flee convictions from 1999 in Kanabec County and felony motor vehicle theft in 2003 in Anoka County.
Hatfield has a prior fifth degree controlled substance conviction from 1999 in Stearns County.
Hatfield and Hass have each been charged with second degree possession of a controlled substance and face a mandatory minimum of three years in prison (not more than 40 years), a fifth degree possession charge (up to 10 years in prison), receiving stolen property (up to five years) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Hatfield posted $10,000 bail on Sunday, Sept. 26.
Unconditional bail for Hass has been set at $80,000 and $20,000 for conditional bail. He is still in custody.
The Mille Lacs County Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.