Law enforcement arrest 12 in second drug ring

Twelve people have been arrested after law enforcement disrupted a drug ring that allegedly received meth and marijuana through the mail from California.

Twelve people have been arrested after law enforcement disrupted a drug ring that allegedly received meth and marijuana through the mail from California.

Several people are charged with felony first-degree controlled substance crimes for conspiracy to distribute meth. The maximum penalty is 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

A string of felony drug arrests began March 2, and an investigation continues. Federal prosecutors and the state attorney generals office have been contacted to see about federal and state charges, said Wadena Police Department Sgt./Investigator Tom Crawford.

Those arrested are from Wadena, Staples, Hewitt, Ponsford and Detroit Lakes and include:

" Glen Forehand, 31, of Detroit Lakes


" Jeremy Leroy Berndt, 22, of Hewitt

" Christopher Joseph Tigges, 21, of Wadena

" Leonard Joseph Smith, 25, of Ponsford

" Anthony James Richard Jantz, 22, of Hewitt

" Michael Benjamin Goodman, 18, of Ponsford

" Six others, including one juvenile, were arrested and could face charges

Crawford said these arrests have no connection to meth arrests made in January in Wadena.

On March 2, State Trooper Jeff Pinoniemi made a traffic stop, which led to the arrest of Smith, Goodman and Jantz. About 100 grams of marijuana, 50 grams of meth and two handguns, one that was stolen, were seized.


After law enforcement questioned the men at the Wadena County Jail, information was used to get a search warrant for a home in Hewitt, Crawford said. The men said the drugs seized during the traffic stop came from Hewitt. About 1/4 pound of meth, 3 pounds of marijuana, a stolen firearm and two stolen snowmobiles were recovered at the Hewitt home, Crawford said. Also, numerous other items at the home, including a new snowmobile, were believed to have been purchased with drug proceeds, he said. Berndt and a woman who has yet to be charged were arrested as a result of the Hewitt warrant.

Forehand was arrested in connection with the investigation after a search warrant was executed in Detroit Lakes. Officers recovered more than $60,000 cash, snowmobiles and other items, Crawford said.

Later, a search warrant was executed in Wadena at an apartment rented by Forehand and Berndt. The men were not living there at the time, Crawford said.

On March 5, a man was arrested in Wadena on an outstanding warrant, and about 2 pounds of marijuana, scales and drug paraphernalia were seized, Crawford said.

After additional information was gathered, more search warrants were executed.

On Friday, search warrants were executed in Staples, rural Park Rapids, Ponsford and Wadena. Firearms, meth, drug paraphernalia and large amounts of cash were recovered from the searches.

Forehand, Berndt, Tigges, Smith, Jantz and Goodman have been charged for conspiracy to distribute meth and are being held in jail, Crawford said. Forehand, Berndt and Tigges are held in Todd County Jail and Smith, Jantz and Goodman are held in Otter Tail County Jail.

Weve been watching some of these guys for more than a year, he said. It was a snowball effect; one place led us to another.


The drugs were shipped through FedEx or UPS from California to this area, Crawford said. Then, the narcotics were distributed by several of these people to others in the area, he said.

Many of the people arrested were young and that seems to be a trend, Crawford said.

These people were very organized it sounds like theyve been in business for at least two years, he said.

Assisting Todd County Sheriffs Office were the Wadena Police Department, Central Minnesota Drug Task Force, Wadena County Sheriffs Office tactical team, Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Law enforcement from several agencies continues to investigate the drug ring.

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