Cousins Joshua Weiland, 25, and Nathan Weiland, 23, were arrested last week in a drug bust at Joshua's Avenue C apartment in Cloquet, thanks to the combined efforts of the Cloquet Police Department, Carlton County Sheriff's Department and Minnesota State Patrol.
Cloquet police detectives Scott Holman and Darrin Berg took the lead in the case, after hearing from more than one police informant that Nathan Weiland comes into Cloquet for short periods of time, stays with his cousin and sells large quantities of methamphetamine along with other controlled substances. After observing the apartment at 120 Avenue C for a week, the two police detectives identified large volumes of stop-and-go traffic consistent with drug deals taking place.
After getting a search warrant for the apartment and both suspects, members of the three law enforcement departments converged on the apartment. Both Joshua and Nathan Weiland were in the apartment, along with Merlin Deegan Jr., 22, who was renting a room from Joshua.
After both men were searched and the search warrant presented, according to the police report, Nathan Weiland informed police detectives that there were controlled substances in a black bag next the chair where he was sitting in the kitchen. Inside the bag, police located two cans. One, which looked like a shaving cream can, held approximately 25 grams of marijuana in a false bottom. A second "fix-a-flat" can contained another 31 grams of marijuana, plus 11 grams of meth as well as five methadone pills. Nathan Weiland said all the substances belonged to him at that time, the police report states.
Joshua Weiland was charged with aiding and abetting second degree possession of methamphetamine, aiding and abetting fifth degree possession of marijuana and aiding and abetting possession of methadone and drug paraphernalia. Nathan Weiland was charged with second degree possession of methamphetamine, fifth degree possession of methadone and fifth degree possession of marijuana along with drug paraphernalia. All are felony charges.
Cloquet Police Chief Wade Lamirande said the "stash cans" are an indication of how sophisticated people have become in transporting illegal items.
"There are so many everyday items that have been transformed," Lamirande said.
Both men had their initial appearance in court Wednesday morning. Detectives noted that Nathan Weiland, who lives in the Brainerd, Minn. area, has a lengthy criminal record of narcotics and other drug possession. A contested omnibus hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17 for Nathan Weiland, while Joshua Weiland's next appearance is set for Dec. 1. All appearances are in Carlton County Court.