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  Wednesday October 22nd, 2014    

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Police: ‘plant food’ dealers were armed (07/21/2013)
By Chris Rogers

Six people were arrested after a drug bust by local law enforcement on Tuesday, July 16, at 5:05 a.m. Winonans Jason Richard Steinfeldt, 40, and Brian James Wehlage, 42, were in the basement of Steinfeldt’s residence with a 12-gauge shotgun and dozens of doses of Alpha-PVP (also known as “plant food”) when the Emergency Response Team (ERT) executed a no-knock search warrant, according to the report. The ERT cleared the upstairs, taking four into custody, but Wehlage and Steinfeldt did not respond to commands to come up from the basement. Officers reported hearing slamming noises coming from the basement as they waited for Wehlage and Steinfeldt to comply.

The two eventually came up and were arrested without incident. According to police, they had tried to flush some of the drugs down a toilet. Officers reported finding Skol cans and plastic baggies full of a substance that tested positive for Alpha-PVP floating in the basement toilet. The area around the toilet was wet, as was Steinfeldt, police said. The shotgun was leaning up against the basement wall, according to the report.

Officers reported finding 55 doses of a substance that tested positive for Alpha-PVP, a substance believed to be methamphetamine, the narcotic suboxone, packing materials, scales, foilies (aluminum foil folded to smoke narcotics), hypodermic needles, brass knuckles, and several large-bladed knives.

Steinfedlt and Wehlage are each charged with third-degree intent to sell methamphetamine with possession of a firearm and fourth-degree intent to sell Alpha-PVP with possession of a firearm. Max William Ruff, 28, of Winona, is charged with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic needle. Tyler Wayne Brown, 25, of Winona, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, fourth-degree intent to sell Alpha-PVP, and fifth-degree possession of Alpha-PVP. Alex Daniel Vaugh, 25, of Winona, is charged with intent to sell Alpha-PVP. Whitney Nicole Sherman, 27, of Winona, is charged with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

The Winona County Sheriff’s Department, Winona Police, and Southeast Minnesota Narcotics Task Force assisted in the search and arrests. 

 

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