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Expired tabs lead to meth bust in Menahga

A Park Rapids man faces one felony drug-related charge after being stopped for expired tabs on his vehicle.

A court documented statement of probable cause records that on Aug. 22, at approximately 7:34 p.m., Menahga officers observed a vehicle without current tabs in the city of Menahga while on routine patrol. The van was occupied by two passengers.

The driver, John James Kramer, 54, was questioned as to why he was driving with expired tabs, and was asked to provide a license and insurance information. The probable cause court file states that Kramer claimed he had purchased the vehicle from an acquaintance several weeks earlier but had not yet changed the name on the title.

A check by Menahga officers revealed a revoked driver's license in addition to no vehicle insurance, according to the probable cause court file, which also said Kramer was advised on his revoked license and wrong tabs and asked by Menahga law enforcement officers if he had any unlawful items. Kramer produced a tobacco pipe he claimed to have smoked marijuana out of, adding that when asked where the marijuana was located in the vehicle, he said it was in a small yellow container on the floor of the van.

While searching for the yellow container, officers located a small black vinyl zippered pouch inside of a plastic bag from a Holiday gas station, the probable cause document showed. The document also said inside the pouch were three syringes and a small zip-lock type bag with white residue inside.

The two were asked if they had been to Holiday that day, and they said they had been but denied knowing anything about the pouch, which also said a NIK drug test kit later identified the substance as methamphetamine.

Kramer was placed under arrest the evening of Aug. 22, the document said. It also said the bag and syringes were sealed in bags by Menahga police and taken to the evidence room to be sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for further testing.

In addition to the felony possession charge, Kramer faces a charge of failing to register a vehicle with intent to escape tax and driving after revocation, according to the court documented statement of probable cause.

The statement also says Kramer has been previously convicted of felony-level controlled substance crimes such as two fifth degree controlled substance crimes in Hubbard County, one from February 2002 and one in December 2005, as well as in June 2004 in Wadena County. Kramer was also convicted in conjunction with the manufacturing, delivery or possession of at least 28 grams of a Schedule I or II controlled substance in October 1992 in Hot Springs, Ark., and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver in December 1992 in Pine Bluff, Ark., the statement added.

Kramer's omnibus hearing is set for Sept. 17, according to the probable cause records.