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Several people arrested after 20-month drug investigation by three departments

By Staff | Dec 19, 2007

REGIONAL–A 20-month joint investigation into illegal drug activity in northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota has resulted in numerous arrests.

Dennis Goeders, sheriff of Palo Alto County, Larry Lamack, Emmet County Sheriff, and Roger Hawkinson, Jackson County Sheriff in Minnesota, report their agencies have been involved with a large investigation of drug trafficking in each county. As a result of that cooperation, the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Department has charged Michael Raymond Kesterson, 47, of Mallard, with delivery of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, within 1,000 feet of the Graettinger school and delivery of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, at a location near Emmetsburg.

On Dec. 7, the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Department arrested Dawn Kruse, 40, of Mallard, and Kesterson on warrants in Emmetsburg. Kesterson was charged with an additional count of possession of a controlled substance during the arrest. Kruse was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. A third person, Timothy Dale Moritz, 41, of Arnolds Park, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Kesterson was booked into the Palo Alto County Jail on $13,000 bond. Kruse was transported to Emmet County Jail in Estherville and was booked on $13,000 bond. Moritz was released with a court date.

The Palo Alto Sheriff’s Department was assisted by the Emmetsburg Police Department and agents with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation with the arrest.

The Emmet County Sheriff’s Department charged Kesterson and Kruse with delivery of a controlled substance-methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school in Estherville.

The Emmet County Sheriff’s Department also charged Wayne Allen Stevens, 38, of Alta, with delivery of a controlled substance at a location in Emmet County.

On Dec. 13, Emmet and Palo Alto county deputies arrested Stevens at his Alta residence on the Emmet County charge of delivery of a controlled substance-methamphetamine.

During the arrest, Stevens was found to be in possession of a quantity of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. Buena Vista County deputies assisted with the arrest. That office will follow up additional charges of possession of controlled substance and drug paraphernalia against Stevens who was transported to the Emmet County Jail and booked on $13,000 bond.

On Dec. 18, Hawkinson reported the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department arrested Craig Allen Reiter, 41, and Patricia Ann Reiter, 28, both of Lakefield, Minn. The pair are charged with first-degree sales of a controlled substance. Reiter faces up to 30 years in prison and up to a $1 million dollar fine.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department in cooperation with the Jackson Police Department made controlled purchases of more than 200 suspected LSD doses from the Reiters over a six-month period. Both were booked into the Jackson County Jail. The Lakefield Police Department assisted with the arrests.

The delivery charges in Iowa are Class C felonies and the school zone enhancements are a mandatory five years in prison.

Also assisting in this investigation were county attorney’s offices in Emmet, Palo Alto and Jackson counties, Emmetsburg and Jackson police departments, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa, Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

All three sheriffs and their departments are continuing this investigation.

The sheriffs commended the cooperation of all the agencies involved.