An investigation into the sale of methamphetamine led to the arrests of three people Tuesday afternoon on charges of felony first-degree sale of controlled substances, it was learned Thursday.
Two of the three people arrested, Jeremy Edward Volkmuth, 36, and Jennifer Nicole Kenowski, 26, both of Brainerd, had other drug charges pending in Crow Wing County District Court and their arrests Tuesday resulted in violations of conditions of release.
Volkmuth and the third person arrested, Brian Wayne Parker, 38, Brainerd, also have prior felony convictions for controlled substance crimes.
Volkmuth, Kenowski and Parker were arraigned Thursday in Crow Wing County District Court on two counts of felony first-degree sale of a controlled substance and one count of felony second-degree possession of a controlled substance. The first-degree sale of a controlled substance charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and/or a $1 million fine. The charges of second-degree possession of a controlled substance carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and/or a $500,000 fine.
Volkmuth and Parker are being held in the Crow Wing County Jail on $1 million bond or bail without conditions and $750,000 bond or bail with conditions. Kenowski is being held in the jail on $500,000 bond or bail without conditions and $350,000 bond or bail with conditions. Omnibus court hearings for all three defendants have been set at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Meyer said the arrests were made during a traffic stop based on information received by the LADID. The arrests were part of an investi-gation, Meyer said, but no more arrests were expected in the case.
“We don’t see (meth) manufacturing in the community, which is great, but the main source of a few people now is to take a trip, buy it and bring it into the community,” Meyer said.
According to the criminals complaints filed against Volkmuth, Kenowski and Parker:
• On Tuesday an officer with the Lakes Area Drug Investigative Division applied for and received a search warrant for a vehicle, the persons of Volkmuth and Kenowski and all other passengers located in the vehicle. About 1 p.m. the vehicle was stopped on Highway 371 and narcotics agents identified the driver as Kenowski, front seat passenger as Volkmuth and the back seat passenger as Parker.
• The vehicle occupants were detained and the vehicle towed to the Brainerd Police Department garage, where the search warrant for the vehicle was executed. A narcotics agent located a bag behind the driver’s seat that contained a pair of jeans. Inside the jeans was a clear plastic bag with about 17 grams of methamphetamine was found.
• Also located in the vehicle was a cellphone on the front dash, a metal one-hitter (drug pipe) containing a residual amount of burned marijuana under the back seat, two cellphones on the back seat and a white napkin with drugs notes in the area of the front passenger seat. The cellphone on the dash and one of the cellphones on the back seat contained text messages about the sale of controlled substances.
On Dec. 17, Kenowski was charged in Crow Wing County with felony fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance and felony drugs-cause or permit a child or vulnerable adult to ingest, inhale or be exposed to meth.
In that case, Kenowski was released on her own recognizance on several conditions, including that she remain law abiding. Her arrest Tuesday violated that condition and her violation hearing on the Dec. 17 charges also was held Thursday. Her next court appearance is May 9.
On Dec. 29, Volkmuth was charged in Crow Wing County with two counts of felony first-degree sale of a controlled substance. He was released from jail on those charges after posting a $100,000 bond, with the conditions he have no possession of alcohol or drugs, have no same or similar offenses and remain law abiding. His arrest Tuesday resulted in a violation hearing Thursday on the Dec. 29 charges.
Volkmuth has a lengthy criminal history in Crow Wing County dating back to 1992. He has convictions for felony theft, felony fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, felony first-degree possession of a controlled substance, gross misdemeanor DWI, gross misdemeanor domestic assault, gross misdemeanor terroristic threats, gross misdemeanor escape from custody, gross misdemeanor driving after license cancellation and numerous misdemeanor charges.
Parker also has a lengthy criminal history in Crow Wing County dating back to 1990. He has convictions for felony crimes against the administration of justice, felony third-degree burglary, felony theft of a motor vehicle, felony theft, felony second-degree controlled substance crime; gross misdemeanor property damage, gross misdemeanor theft, gross misdemeanor DWI, gross misdemeanor possession of stolen property; and on numerous misdemeanor charges for theft, shoplifting, possession of marijuana and driving offenses.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.