Traffic stop yields 405 grams of marijuanaTwo North St. Paul residents were found to have 405 grams of marijuana in their possession following a traffic stop last Tuesday in Carlton County.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Two North St. Paul residents were found to have 405 grams of marijuana in their possession following a traffic stop last Tuesday in Carlton County. Steven Robert Martin, 27, and Dezerae Lee Fierro, 23, were charged in Carlton County Court with felony fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance. Fierro was also charged with one count of child neglect, since her 4-year-old child was in the car with them at the time of the incident.
According to the complaint filed in the case, Minnesota State Trooper David Vereecken was on routine patrol at approximately 11 a.m. April 9 when he pulled over Fierro’s vehicle for illegal window tint. The report states that Fierro was accompanied by two adult males, one of them identified as Martin.
During a subsequent search of the 2006 Chrysler Sebring, a suitcase was found in the trunk of the car that contained marijuana. Fierro told Vereecken that although she and Martin owned the car together, the drugs belonged to Martin. Martin then admitted to ownership of the drugs. Given the fact the drugs were found in a car owned jointly by the two of them, however, the rules of the state dictate that both had knowledge and ownership interest in the marijuana.
Vereecken then field-tested the drug, which tested positive as marijuana, at a total weight of 405 grams, or just under a pound.
Martin was arrested and taken to the Carlton County Jail, where he was processed and later charged. The judge set bail at $10,000 bond/$1,000 cash, and he had posted bail and released from jail at the time this issue of the Pine Journal went to press. He appeared for a Rule 8 hearing in Carlton County Court on Wednesday.
Since the couple’s child was in the car at the time of the traffic stop, Fierro was charged but not arrested. She was allowed to go home with family members and her next court hearing is yet to be scheduled.
Assistant Carlton County Attorney Michael Boese said there was no evidence to prove that the second male in the car possessed the drugs, so he was not charged.
Detectives from the Cloquet Police Department assisted with the investigation.