Cloquet police, state patrol arrest two, seize drugs in local traffic stopsOfficers from the Minnesota State Patrol and Cloquet Police arrested two men in separate traffic stops earlier this week. They seized high-grade marijuana, methamphetamine and cash during the arrests in Cloquet Monday and Tuesday.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Officers from the Minnesota State Patrol and Cloquet Police arrested two men in separate traffic stops earlier this week. They seized high-grade marijuana, methamphetamine and cash during the arrests in Cloquet Monday and Tuesday.
On Monday night, Cloquet Police Sergeant Scott Holman stopped 23-year-old Anaya Sanchez near Interstate-35 near the Scanlon exit. Sanchez had a window-tint violation and other vehicle equipment violations on the 2000 Pontiac he was driving. After a check of his driver’s license revealed it was under suspension, Holman spoke with Sanchez, who allegedly acted nervous, leading Holman to ask to search the car.
Sanchez refused, so Holman had his police canine, Tessa, conduct a “free air search” around it.
After she alerted Holman to drugs inside the car, they were able to conduct a full search, where Tessa found 33 grams of crystal meth concealed inside the gear shifter. They also found $806 in cash.
Sanchez, who lists an address in Keewatin, Minn., told Holman he is currently staying with his girlfriend in Cloquet. He has been charged with first-degree felony possession of meth and has previous criminal convictions including misdemeanor drug possession and felony domestic assault.
“Without the assistance of Tessa, this large amount of meth would have reached the streets of Cloquet,” Holman said.
That amount of meth has a street value of $3,500, Holman added.
Tuesday, Minnesota State Patrol Trooper David Vereecken made a traffic stop on Interstate 35 northbound in Cloquet, also due to a window-tint violation. As Vereecken approached the vehicle, he said he detected a strong odor of raw marijuana coming from inside. The driver admitted he had been smoking the drug, but refused to allow a search of the vehicle. Holman was called at that point and he arrived with Tessa to assist. She alerted officers to the passenger-side door. Upon searching the vehicle, Tessa found a backpack with several pounds of marijuana inside. The particular grade of marijuana, commonly known as “nuggets,” has a street value of more than $21,000, Vereecken said.
The man, a 26-year-old attending University of Wisconsin-Superior, is expected to face felony charges. The Pine Journal does not name suspects until they have been criminally charged.
Both men remain in Carlton County Jail pending court appearances.