Three arrests were made Saturday in a methamphetamine drug trafficking ring that operated near Washington Middle School.
Just before 5 a.m. Lakes Area Drug Investigation Division officers executed a search warrant at a residence in the 500 block of South Ninth Street.
A 28-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were arrested, and told officers that they distributed 3-5 pounds of methamphetamine per week in and around Brainerd, said Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc. The methamphetamine was brought in from other parts of the country.
Another male was arrested on drug-related charges at another location later in the day.
Though only a small amount of methamphetamine was recovered at the residence, investigators found evidence that mass quantities of the drug were moving through the property. Hidden compartments and traps doors in the residence, believed used to hide the drugs, were found.
"The key is, though we didn't recover large quantities of drugs, the evidence suggested it and they admitted it," said Bolduc. "This was a great pinch."
The Crow Wing County Tactical Team made initial entry into the residence with Brainerd and LADID officers. A loaded handgun, about $2,500 in cash and a car were seized.
The two people arrested at the South Ninth Street home are expected to be arraigned today, said Bolduc. The man has a lengthy criminal history, said Bolduc, including two other drug-related arrests. He could face serious penalties if convicted of felony drug and gun charges, Bolduc said. There could also be enhanced penalties for the two suspects because the arrest was made within 500 feet of Washington Middle School.
There may be more arrests made as the investigation of the trafficking ring continues, said Bolduc.
"We knew our meth problem was bad, but this investigation is proving how much meth is actually moving through our area," said Bolduc. "Even we were a bit surprised."
The Baxter Police Department, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the county Sheriff's Department assisted.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.