Archive for Hot Topic

Darwin man killed in crash

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – A 62-year-old Darwin man was killed Saturday when the 2008 Ford Escape he was driving northbound on Highway 15 collided with the rear right side of a planter being pulled by a tractor that had just pulled out from a field approach to travel north on Hwy. 15. The crash took place near the intersection of Highway 15 and 180th St,  in Collinwood Township in Meeker County, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The tractor was driven by Peter Elvin Peterson, 56, of Dassel.

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office and Dassel Fire Department also responded to the scene.

The identity of the driver of the Ford Escape has not yet been released.

UPDATE – The state patrol has identified the victim as Kevin Scott Erickson.

More than 1,000 marijuana plants seized in Dassel

DASSEL, MN – Authorities seized 1,433 marijuana plants from a house in Dassel May 3, according to a press release from the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Brian Cruze noted that in his 24-year career, including 15 years working in narcotics, he had never seen such a sophisticated operation with this many marijuana plants.

The operation was discovered after agents from the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, the US Marshals Service, the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the CEE-VI (Cooperative Enforcement Effort) Drug Task Force arrested  Bao Quoc Huynh, 37, who was a fugitive with an out-of-state warrant. No home address is listed for Huynh.

The arrest took place at about 11:30 a.m. May 3 in the 500 block of Marcia Street in Dassel. During the arrest, agents had reason to believe marijuana was being grown inside the house, so a search warrant was obtained, the press release noted.

Authorities then found an elaborate marijuana operation, with marijuana plants in various stages of growth. Along with the plants, there were numerous items used for cultivation.

Also arrested at the residence was Trong Brandon Ly, 45, of Brooklyn Park.

The Dassel Fire Department assisted at the scene.

Car parts reported stolen from two Cokato businesses

COKATO, MN – The Wright County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two instances of theft that were reported April 6 at two Cokato auto dealerships.

“It’s quite possible these are related,” Wright County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Todd Hoffman said.

One occurred at Holt Motors (245 Cokato St. W.), and the other at Cars By Andy (14208 Highway 12). Hoffman stated that no buildings appeared to have been entered.

At Holt Motors, the theft occurred at about 3:19 a.m. in the impound lot where towed cars are stored. A fence was cut, and a car radio was stolen. Car batteries were removed, but were not taken out of the lot. Between miscellaneous vehicle damage and the radio, the loss was estimated at about $150.

At Cars By Andy, the sheriff’s office was notified of the theft at 10:44 a.m. Video surveillance showed that a vehicle entered the lot at 3:33 a.m. Four tires and four after-market rims were stolen, as well as a taillight from a vehicle and a floor jack. All four tires were removed from another vehicle, but the tires were not stolen. The total loss is estimated at about $2,365.

Hoffman said the sheriff’s office has some evidence regarding these thefts, and the case is currently under investigation.

Cause of death identified in Shawn Medley investigation

MEEKER, WRIGHT COUNTIES, MN – The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office received the autopsy and toxicology report in the Shawn Medley death investigation March 20, according to a press release from Sheriff Bru.
According to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, Medley died of a methamphetamine and mitragynine overdose. The circumstances surrounding Medley’s death, including where he died, remain unknown.
The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone who was with Medley, as well as his whereabouts from the early morning hours of, Thursday, Feb. 8 to Sunday, Feb. 11. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office at (320) 693-5400 and ask to speak with a detective, or leave information on the department’s confidential tip line at (320) 693-5411.
The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an unresponsive male at a rural Ellsworth Township location Feb. 11 at approximately 2:15 p.m. The exact location is being withheld at this time due to the ongoing investigation.
The initial investigation revealed the man had been deceased for quite some time and investigators believe he died somewhere other than where he was found, according to a release from Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze.
The deceased has been identified as Shawn Jacob Medley, 40, of Waverly. Medley had been reported missing Feb. 7 in Wright County.
Medley’s vehicle, a 2010 Silver Hyundai Elantra with MN plates 748HUD, was located abandoned in Litchfield in the early morning hours of Feb. 10.
Assisting with the investigation are the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Litchfield Police Department.

One person hurt in Wright Co. crash

ALBION TOWNSHIP, MN – A two-vehicle crash occurred in Albion Township (north of Howard Lake) Tuesday evening, involving one Cokato resident and one Maple Lake resident, the Minnesota State Patrol reported.

Ivan Mccrae Ostlund LaTour, 16, of Maple Lake was driving a 2009 Jeep Commander south on Spruce Avenue at Highway 55 just before 5:30 p.m. He stopped at the stop sign, then attempted to cross Highway 55 and pulled out in front of a 2003 Ford pickup that was traveling east on Highway 55. The vehicles collided and the Jeep rolled on its side, according to the state patrol.

The driver of the Ford, Bruce Elroy Burkowske, 55, of Cokato, was not injured. LaTour was transported to Buffalo Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Both people involved in the crash were wearing seat belts at the time.


Dassel woman injured in single-vehicle crash

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – A Dassel woman was injured in a single-vehicle crash Friday, March 2 at approximately 6:59 p.m., according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

Carmen Marie Luebke, 38, of Dassel was driving a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix eastbound on Highway 12 at County Road 34 in Darwin Township when it went off the road to the right and struck the railroad tracks, according to the state patrol. The vehicle went airborne before coming to rest on the south side of the railroad tracks. Luebke was transported by Gold Cross Ambulance to Meeker Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the state patrol.