Duluth man pleads guilty to drug possessionTodd Richard Carter, 39, pleaded guilty to charges of second- and third-degree drug possession, while charges of fleeing a police officer and possession of pharmacy drugs and drug paraphernalia were dismissed.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
With the jury selection set to begin Tuesday in Carlton County Court, a Duluth man opted for a plea deal instead.
Todd Richard Carter, 39, pleaded guilty to charges of second- and third-degree drug possession, while charges of fleeing a police officer and possession of pharmacy drugs and drug paraphernalia were dismissed.
Carter was arrested in late 2011, just two weeks after a previous first-degree drug possession charge had been dismissed in Carlton County Court.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the incident, Carter was stopped for a vehicle equipment violation at approximately 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011, on northbound Interstate 35 near Esko by a Minnesota state trooper. At the time of the stop, the trooper observed indications of possible controlled substance use. While writing up the equipment violations, the trooper questioned Carter, who allegedly admitted to chemical substance use. The trooper then searched both Carter and his vehicle and found drug paraphernalia as well as hypodermic syringes and a substantial amount of methamphetamine contained in 16 bindles with a gross field weight of approximately 87 grams.
When Carter realized the trooper had located the methamphetamine, he began to flee on foot but was apprehended after a brief search.
At that point, Carter was arrested and transported to the Carlton County Law Enforcement Center. He posted bail of $7,500.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler said Carter will be sentenced to 78 months in prison on May 2, with the sentences for the two drug possession convictions to run concurrently.
The earlier charges against Carter for first-degree drug possession had been dismissed on Nov. 18, 2011, for lack of probable cause. In the complaint filed in that matter, Carter and co-defendant Thomas Jon Rodne, 42, of Duluth were arrested in Carlton County in April 2011, after a traffic stop for an inoperable headlight yielded 133 grams of methamphetamine in Rodne’s possession.
Rodne was sentenced Nov. 30, 2011, to 67 months in prison on one felony count of second-degree possession of a controlled substance.
Pine Journal Publisher Wendy Johnson contributed to this story.