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Patrol lands 40 pounds of meth near Hope

Meth bust, 40 tons of meth, Steele County Times, near me
Drug has street value of half million dollars
Kay Fate, Staff Writer

Three men are in custody – and up to 40 pounds of methamphetamine was confiscated – after a traffic stop in Steele County.

Thomas Virgil Trumble, 60, of New Richmond, Wis.; James Winfred Timmons, 48, of St. Paul; and Benjamin Reuben Krupp, 36, of Phoenix, all made their first appearance last week in Steele County District Court.

They all face felony counts of aggravated controlled substance crime first-degree, and two aggravating factors; first-degree drug possession; and one count of possession of ammo/any firearm after the conviction for a crime of violence, also a felony.

Krupp faces an additional count of first-degree drug possession.

The men remain in custody. Conditional bond for Trumble was set at $250,000; he’s due back in court on May 10.

Timmons and Krupp are both being held on $500,000 conditional bond; their next court date is set for May 12.

The men and the SUV they were in were under an active investigation for ongoing narcotics crimes when a Minnesota State Patrol trooper spotted the vehicle about 9 p.m. on April 26 near the Hope exit on northbound Interstate 35.

As the SUV changed lanes, it hit the fog line, prompting the trooper to make a traffic stop.

According to the criminal complaint, Trumble was in the driver’s seat. As he was looking for his license, he was speaking rapidly, provided documentation that he hadn’t been asked for, and was constantly touching his face.

Timmons was in the front passenger seat. He said he’d rented the SUV and provided the rental agreement.

As the trooper spoke to Trumble, the report says, “he would not make eye contact and was having trouble forming sentences, stuttering consistently while answering simple questions.” He said he didn’t know Krupp, who was in the back seat, identifying him as Timmons’ friend “Dan or Don.”

Trumble’s and Timmons’ stories about where they’d been that day didn’t match.

The trooper brought his drug-sniffing dog to the vehicle; it alerted to the rear of the SUV, specifically near a duffle bag in the rear hatch.

The complaint says the bag contained a large plastic-wrapped bundle of what later turned out to be meth. The trooper allegedly saw “numerous large packages containing the same substance.”

The contents of the bag reportedly included packages of meth with an estimated weight of 30 to 40 pounds; a package of suspected fentanyl pills; an ounce of cocaine; and a nickel-plated revolver and two boxes of ammo.

The street value of the meth recovered is about $500,000.

The passenger compartment of the SUV held 5 grams of meth, 14 grams of marijuana, and a gram of THC wax. The marijuana and THC were in a cannabis dispensary bag.

A review of their criminal histories indicates all three men have prior controlled substance convictions.

If they’re convicted again, the aggravated count carries a prison sentence of not less than seven years in prison, a fine of $1 million, or both.

The first-degree possession charge is punishable by not less than 5.4 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both.

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