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EPD, task force and Max nab four on drug charges

By Staff | Jun 15, 2009

The Estherville Police Department, with the assistance of the Iowa Great Lakes Drug Task Force and K-9 Max, have made several arrests following an ongoing investigation into the sale and use of illegal drugs. The arrests were made following a traffic stop on June 2 and search warrants conducted throughout the day on June 12.

On June 2, police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle owned and operated by Jennifer Steele, 18, of Estherville for a traffic violation. Officers found Steele to be in possession of marijuana. She was arrested and charged with driving while suspended, improper display of registration and possession of marijuana. Steele was released on her own recognizance the following morning.

In separate incidents, on June 12, police and the Iowa Great Lakes Drug Task Force concluded a lengthy investigation by conducting simultaneous search warrants at 123 S. Third St. and 935 N. Fourth St. in Estherville, as well as, a consent search of 2302 Third Ave. S., Lot 75. Another search warrant was conducted the evening of June 12 at 627 S. 11th St.

The residence at 123 S. Third St. is the home of Mizael Hernandez Padilla, 39. His home was searched and items seized were: three automobiles, a jet ski and trailer, drug paraphernalia and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Padilla was not home at the time the warrant was served. Padilla was later located at 2302 Third Ave. S., Lot 75 and transported to the Law Enforcement Center after the owner of the residence allowed officers to conduct a search for Padilla and illegal contraband. No contraband was located in the house.

Padilla was arrested and charged with two counts of delivery of cocaine, two counts of money laundering, and two counts of ongoing criminal conduct.

All six charges are class C felonies punishable by a prison term of no more than 10 years and a fine of at least $1,000 but no more than $10,000. Padilla remains in the Emmet County Jail on a bond of $182,000 cash or surety.

At 935 N. Fourth St., officers seized cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and cash. As a result, Juan Jose Lopez Jr., 21, of 935 N. Fourth St., was arrested on warrants for conspiracy to deliver cocaine and ongoing criminal conduct, both of which are class C felonies. Lopez Jr. was placed in the Emmet County Jail and remains on a bond of $26,000 cash or surety.

In the evening hours of June 12, officers conducted another search warrant of a residence located at 627 S. 11th St. Following the investigation, officers arrested 21-year old Manuel Acosta Jr. of Estherville on charges of delivery of cocaine, delivery of marijuana, ongoing criminal conduct, possession of a controlled substance (marijuana), and possession of drug paraphernalia. Acosta Jr., was placed in the Emmet County Jail and currently has a bond of $38,500 cash or surety.

“The Estherville Police Department would like to thank the citizens of Estherville who assisted in this case, as well as, the Iowa Great Lakes Drug Task Force and K-9 Max for their extensive work in the searches and arrests of these individuals,” said EPD Captain Brent Shatto. adding. “I would like to commend the officers involved in these cases for their long hours and dedication to resolving these matters. This department would also like to remind citizens if they have information about illegal activity to call the police department at 712-362-3515 or e-mail esthervillepd@yourstarnet.net .