A Minnesota man has been sentenced to 17 years in federal prison after police seized more than 600 grams of methamphetamine in an arrest last year at Black Bear Casino.
Authorities said 30-year-old Steven Allen Lindquist, of Rochester, Minnesota, was a major distributor of meth throughout the state. According to court documents, he worked with a co-defendant, 24-year-old Tiffany Marie Gauthier, to transport significant quantities of the drug to Minnesota from Arizona.
Lindquist was arrested after police received a tip that he was selling meth at the casino May 29. Approximately 615 grams were seized from a backpack he was carrying.
Lindquist was earlier stopped by police April 2, with a search recovering approximately $18,000 in cash and about 20 grams of various controlled substances, including meth, hydrocodone, oxycodone, alprazolam, clonazepam, ecstasy and marijuana.
Throughout late April and early May, authorities tracked a vehicle that was rented and driven by Gauthier from Arizona to Minnesota, according to court documents. A stop on May 2 led to the seizure of 55 pounds of meth concealed in the fuel tank — an amount Olmsted County authorities said was a record for southeastern Minnesota.
Authorities said further investigation revealed that Gauthier was assisting Lindquist in obtaining the drugs from a supplier in Arizona and was planning to turn over the "drug-laden vehicle" to him in Minnesota.
Lindquist pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Previously filed state charges were dismissed after the federal indictment was handed down. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz last week.
Gauthier, also of Rochester, was sentenced in February to five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to the same charge.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Goodhue and Olmstead county sheriff's offices and other members of the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement Team.