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Drug sting takes pounds of marijuana off the street

Zachary Mullen1 / 2
Cloquet Police K9 Raja poses with 10 pounds of marijuana discovered after a recent traffic stop in Cloquet, following a multi-state investigation of a person, Zachary Daniel Mullen, who police say was bringing large amounts of marijuana into the city. Police found an additional five pounds of marijuana at the suspect’s residence. Special to the Pine Journal2 / 2

Cloquet police found and confiscated a total of 15 pounds of marijuana following a recent investigation and traffic stop.

According to a press release from the Cloquet Police Department, the department began investigating a multi-state marijuana distribution operation earlier this month, which revealed large quantities of marijuana being sold in the community. The result was several arrests and the confiscated drugs.

Cloquet resident Zachary Daniel Mullen, 27, was charged in Sixth District Carlton County Court on Tuesday, Nov. 28, with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance. The felony charge could earn him up to five years in prison and/or up to $10,000 fine.

According to the criminal complaint, officers had been receiving tips throughout the month of November that Mullen was allegedly receiving and storing large amounts of marijuana in his apartment on Doddridge Avenue.

A detective with the CPD researched Mullen's recent records and learned he had a pattern of being pulled over and found in possession of marijuana several times. He also discovered Mullen had driven with a revoked driver's licence.

The detective learned Mullen was going to transport a very large amount of marijuana from his apartment that evening. The detective and officers began to watch the apartment.

They observed Mullen as he left his apartment and got into a vehicle in the parking lot at 7:47 p.m.

The officers had been advised Mullen would transport the marijuana in a large suitcase. As law enforcement watched, Mullen and another individual pulled out a large suitcase that matched the description given to them earlier. Mullen and the other individual got into the vehicle and left the apartment complex.

A short time later, Cloquet officers and Carlton County Deputies stopped the vehicle and noticed a very strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, according to the criminal complaint. The drug detection K9, Raja, alerted the officers to the presence of drugs both outside and inside the vehicle. Raja also indicated drugs were inside a large suitcase in the back seat of the car.

After the vehicle and suitcase were investigated, the officers allegedly discovered Mullen was in possession of about 10 pounds of marijuana, which was confiscated by the officers. In addition to Mullen, another adult male and a female were taken into custody. The Pine Journal was unable to determine whether his companions had been charged yet at press time.

Next officers obtained a search warrant for Mullen's apartment. They allegedly discovered an additional five pounds of marijuana, which was also confiscated, for a total of 15 pounds.

The street value of the marijuana was estimated to be over $50,000.

Mullen's next hearing is Dec. 20.