I received a number of emails and inquires after I posted my my Tuesday entry about the hit list and the drug arrest.
Here are several of the inquiries.Was the drug arrest on Tuesday related to the meth lab you guys raided on Heritage Drive over the weekend?
No, they were separate incidents. The person arrested out of the apartment on Heritage Drive as a result of a search warrant was the resident of the apartment. That person had been arrested and taken to the Rice County Jail. He was released by a Rice County judge without posting bail. That means the person who admitted to making meth in his apartment where other people are living, including a child, posted no bail but simply promised to return to court when called.Why did your officer have to stop the drug dealer's vehicle on Highway 19 at rush hour?
We really don't control where drug deals happen or where they decide to drive. We have ways of watching them to observe the drug transactions and agents try to contain them. Officers at the scene made a decision to stop the vehicle before it got into the downtown area where there would be more traffic and more pedestrians. It's a judgment call on the part of the drug agents. There is always a concern that the drug dealers have weapons.Was the person your officers arrested from Northfield?
No, the two adults arrested were from the metro area. Our investigators have learned that a large amount of drug trade in this area takes place in Internet chat rooms between area residents and people living in the metro area who advertise they will come to this area to deliver drugs. Our goal is to make Northfield a very uninviting place to do illegal drug business. We have learned that routinely the transactions take place in public places and parking lots were there are people. We don't want this kind of activity happening because with drug transactions, there is always the chance of violence.Is there a bigger drug problem in Northfield than other places? (my note, I've omitted the names of the cities the person inserted)
No, unfortunately, drug activity, mostly meth and cocaine is quite active again throughout southern Minnesota.What exactly did the notes say that you took out of the car involved in the shoplifting incident? (my post on Tuesday)
The note listed a number of police officer names and vehicles, both city-owned and personal vehicles and other information, I prefer to not post here. The best way to describe this incident is to quote one of the reports sent to me by a Northfield investigator:"...there were two lists in an organizer in the trunk. The lists contained descriptions of vehicles and license plates that appear to be some of our unmarked cars; it may contain descriptions and license plates of our private vehicles also. My unmarked car and an --- one of ---'s were on the list along with our names. Around the edge of the one list it said,
'Kill everyone affiliated with Police..' "
The list also contained phone numbers for a bunch of people who appear to be in the Meth crowd.
The paranoia associated with those who use meth makes the last statement above a real concern. It's not uncommon for those involved in the drug world to brag and engage in this type of bravado. I guess it makes them feel better. It often helps investigators because suspects like to take pictures with drugs, money and guns, write stuff like the quote above. Obviously, our investigators will be continuing a dialogue with the person in whose vehicle the documents were found.
Thanks to all of you who wrote kind words of support, they are appreciated. I feel it is important to provide a glimpse of the impact of the drug trade. I do hope everyone keeps it in perspective. I would ask that you remember that we are dedicated with working with other components of the system to help stem the tide of drug usage both through enforcement but also education, interdiction and treatment. I do want to thank the officers and staff for their willingness to also keep perspective as they go about their daily business of serving the members of this community.
We will continue to offer drug education programs and information meetings for those of you in the Northfield Area who would like to learn more. You can contact our office at 507-645-4477 to arrange a meeting. We will also host a citizen police academy again this spring. (I'll talk more about this later.)
We would continue to ask you to help be our eyes and ears, reporting suspicious activities and working within your Neighborhood Watch groups. We do have DARE officers available to provide the program in our local schools if we are ever asked to do so. Our school resource officer, Thad Monroe has been actively working in the elementary schools on a program to prevent bullying. He stands ready to assist in the middle school and high school if asked to do so.
We are committed to assist the community through education, joint projects and enforcement to continued to make Northfield a safe place to live.