Five arrested in major meth operation connecting Mexico to SE Minnesota
Five people were taken into custody Wednesday for their roles in a drug ring connecting Mexico to southeast Minnesota.
The arrests were part of a months-long investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. In all, authorities seized 19 pounds of methamphetamine and $34,000 in cash.
Authorities made the first three arrests at the intersection of Country Road 16 and Highway 63, near the Rochester International Airport. Undercover officers had followed the suspects from a home in Sargeant (Mower County), where they observed a deal go down, says a report by the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office.
Approximately 10 pounds of meth was found in one of the three vehicles. Authorities also obtained a search warrant for the home in Sargeant, where they discovered three more pounds of meth, $26,000 in cash and a handgun.
Two more people were arrested later in the day at a farm site in Mantorville. Six pounds of meth and $8,000 in cash were taken from the property. A six-month old baby was discovered in the same room as the drugs, notes the report.
All five suspects were arrested without incident, though one did swallow a cell phone SIM card before being handcuffed. Three of the individuals are being held in Olmsted County, while the other two are in Steele County.
Several of the suspects are expected to face federal charges. Meth typically sells for about $100 gram, putting the street value of this bust at nearly $1 million.
More information is expected to be released in the coming days.