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Pharmacies' tips help nab meth suspect

EAST GRAND FORKS - A Fargo man was arrested in East Grand Forks after an officer found the makings of methamphetamine in his pickup, according to a news release from police.

The bust came after pharmacy workers at Hugo's and Pamida in East Grand Forks tipped police about certain people buying too much Sudafed, an over-the-counter cold medicine used in making meth.

Responding to the tip, an officer saw a man who had been described by pharmacy employees leave Pamida's parking lot in a pickup. The officer followed him to the Liberty Lanes lot. There it was discovered that the driver had a suspended license. A search of the truck uncovered a thermos containing a liquid that tested positive for meth, four boxes of Sudafed stashed in a boot and anhydrous ammonia, another ingredient in making meth.

James Allen Smith Jr., 46, was arrested Thursday and has been charged in Polk County Court with conspiracy, possession of substances with intent to manufacture meth and unlaw-ful possession of anhydrous ammonia.

The investigation continues and further charges are possible, the release states.

Minnesota law limits purchases of Sudafed and other drugs that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. Such medications are kept behind the counter, and the buyer must pre-sent a valid photo ID.