by CESAR SALAZAR
The Southeast Minnesota Violent Crimes Enforcement Task Force arrested two Winonans after being tipped off by the Department of Homeland Security about suspicious packages being delivered to their residences within the city of Winona.
On March 24 at 12:26 p.m., Winona Police Department (WPD) officers arrested Damien Duwjan Shade, 46, of Winona, on potential charges of first-degree possession of a controlled substance and ineligible user in possession of a firearm, and Jessica Marie Willis, 39, of Winona, on potential charges of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance after law enforcement officers conducted a search warrant at residences in the 1700 block of Kramer Driver and 700 block of West Fifth Street.
According to the report, the WPD was notified by Department of Homeland Security investigators based in Rochester, Minn., about mail packages suspected to contain methamphetamine being delivered on Friday to two different addresses in Winona from California. Task force officers simultaneously stood by at the two residences while the packages were being delivered, before reportedly beginning their entrance to the residences.
Shade and Willis, who were both in Willis’ apartment on Kramer Drive, reportedly opened the packages, and officers found that they contained stuffed animals, which had allegedly been filled with a substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine.
According to police, Shade told officers that the packages delivered to Willis’ apartment belonged to him, allegedly further admitting that he had a gun and more methamphetamine at his residence on West Fifth Street. Officers conducting a search warrant at the West Fifth Street residence allegedly found the apartment to be empty, except for another package containing another methamphetamine-stuffed animal and a revolver. Officers also allegedly found $2,260 in cash on Shade’s person.
While searching Willis’ apartment, officers allegedly located a syringe that was loaded with a liquid substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine alongside a gram of methamphetamine in a baggie in her bedroom. Officers allegedly found another small baggie with about .25 grams of a substance that field tested for methamphetamine on Willis’ person when she was in custody.
Officers said that the arrests occurred without incident and that the investigation is ongoing. Officers reportedly found a total of 6 pounds between the three packages.
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