Man arrested with felony amount of meth
April 28, 2023
A 35-year-old Willow River man is faced with a first-degree felony drug charge following his arrest April 16 along Interstate 35 in Carlton County.
Roger Petersen Jr. was pulled over after a Carlton County Sheriff’s Office deputy observed a traffic violation. A baggie containing 61 grams of “crystal-like” methamphetamine was found in the car, and authorities allege Petersen was also driving while intoxicated.
Petersen is charged with first-degree felony possession of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. The maximum sentence for the charge is 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Minimum prison guidelines call for a 48-month prison term.
Petersen also failed the field sobriety test and refused to give blood or urine samples, receiving a gross misdemeanor DWI charge punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
While preparing the vehicle for tow and taking inventory of its contents, the deputy located the baggie containing meth under the driver’s seat, said a criminal complaint filed in Sixth District Court in Carlton.
Petersen previously served a state prison sentence following a conviction on charges incurred during a 2017 traffic stop. In that instance, a Carlton County deputy found Peterson driving with a revoked license. He was on probation at the time and found to be carrying 26.9 grams of meth, as well as a small amount of heroin.
Petersen pleaded guilty to the felony drug charge in exchange for dropping additional felony and misdemeanor charges.
Petersen was appointed a public defender and has been appearing in front of District Court Judge Rebekka Stumme. He remains in Carlton County Jail on $225,000 bail.
Brookston man arrested with drugs, illegal gun
A 37-year-old Brookston man was charged with seven felony and misdemeanor counts following a traffic stop April 10 that yielded drugs and a handgun with serial numbers filed off.
Charles John Houle Jr. faces a second-degree felony drug charge in Sixth District Court in Carlton for the sale of 10 grams or more of narcotics.
The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years and up to $500,000 fine.
He also faces a fifth-degree felony drug charge, and felony charge for possessing a firearm with altered serial number, along with other misdemeanor charges — a gross misdemeanor for carrying a pistol without a permit, and misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle, driving after revocation and driving without proof of insurance.
Houle was traveling near the Fond du Lac Gas & Grocery on Big Lake Road at 1 a.m. April 10, when he was pulled over by Tribal Police for not having functional tail lights, said a criminal complaint filed in District Court in Carlton.
An officer observed a cut straw in a cup holder, “which the officer recognized as drug paraphernalia,” the complaint said.
Houle Jr. was traveling with a 31-year-old male passenger, who momentarily fled the scene on foot. As Houle Jr. was detained inside the squad vehicle, an officer located the passenger in a nearby brush. The passenger was carrying a plastic bag with white residue and there were other signs of drugs. While escorting the passenger back to the scene, an officer observed the male throw a baggie of white crystal, later discovered to contain 10.85 grams of meth.
A subsequent search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of 29.5 grams of marijuana, 2.77 grams of cocaine, smaller amounts of methamphetamine and six pills of counterfeit oxycodone containing fentanyl.
The firearm, a .380 caliber Ruger LCR, was contained in a small black backpack, which also held a box of empty plastic bags, a white powder labeled “Mannitol” officers suspected was used as a cutting agent for cocaine, the complaint said, and a set of reference weights for a scale.
The gun is being sent to a state lab for DNA examination, the criminal complaint said.
Houle Jr. has a long history of traffic violation convictions and a previous marijuana conviction.
Houle Jr. is out on pretrial release, and his next court appearance is an omnibus hearing scheduled for 9:45 a.m. June 14 before Judge Rebekka Stumme.