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Large Meth Bust Following Investigation in Rochester

April 24, 2019 07:51 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Law enforcement seized an "unusually large amount of meth" during a drug bust in Rochester. Three men are now in federal custody and a woman is facing state charges. 

“We are going to proactivity and aggressively go after narcotics cases in the City of Rochester,” said Chief Jim Franklin with the Rochester Police Department.

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In late 2018, members of the Rochester Police Criminal Interdiction Unit began an investigation which led them to a home on the 2000 block of 15th Avenue Northwest. On February 9, a search warrant was conducted on the residence.

“They [officers] found approximately five pounds of methamphetamine in this home; that has an approximate street value of about $65,000,” said Franklin.

Authorities believe the group operating out of the home distributed several pounds of meth in the past six months.

“Narcotics activity certainly has a social impact not only in our community but statewide and nationally,” said Franklin, “so that amount of methamphetamine being distributed certainly has an impact.”

The case involved several Law Enforcement Agencies including Rochester Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Minnesota BCA, Ramsey and South East MN violent crimes investigators and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

After an extensive investigation four people were arrested in Rochester last week.

35-year-old Matthew Hines, 34-year-old Jake Scrabeck, 31-year-old Mason Stuhldreher are in federal custody facing drug related charges. 

25-year-old Brittany Abernathy is facing State charges of methamphetamine possession and aiding an offender.

The suspected supplier was also located and arrested in the Twin Cities metro area.

There are other suspects in the case that have not been arrested or charged at this point.

 “We are going to continue to partner with our law enforcement partners,” said Franklin. “For the 11th straight year, statewide drug task forces have seized a record amount of methamphetamine in Minnesota; to the tune of about 1,145 pounds.” 

Despite the Rochester Police Department hiring seven new recruits, officers can’t be everywhere at once. That’s where citizens can step in.

It's incredibly helpful when people are calling and able to give us good information,” said Officer Dan Swanson with the Rochester Police Department. “You'll see houses where people will be there for two to three minutes, then they will get out and leave. In parking lots, you'll see the short term traffic. People will walk up, you'll see an exchange hand-to-hand of something and maybe you can’t see what it is.”

“I want people to know if they call 911, they are not bothering us,” said Franklin. “If they call, we will respond.”

If you see a drug deal happen, you are urged to call 911. If you suspect someone is making or selling narcotics out of a home or building, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The more information, the better. Location, an age estimate, height, gender, race, clothing description and a license plate are all helpful.

Authorities promise anonymity.

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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