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Marijuana possession charges against eight people dismissed

Felony drug possession charges against eight area residents were dismissed recently in Becker County District Court, after concerns were brought to light about the reliability of a confidential informant used in the cases against them.

Paul Dean Jackson, 52, Lori Ann Jackson, 49, Desiree Ann Jackson, 27, Zachery Allen Jackson, 21, and Jason Edward Smith, 35, all of 28438 County Highway 34, Richwood, and Kristin Rose Johnson, 20, of 1547 East Shore Drive, Detroit Lakes, were each charged with one felony count of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance in connection with a Dec. 23, 2011 pot bust.

All six individuals were allegedly inside the Jackson residence in Callaway at the time a search warrant was executed there at around 10:15 a.m. on Dec. 23.

During the subsequent search by law enforcement personnel, a total of 10.8 pounds of marijuana and seven firearms were seized along with drug paraphernalia, smoking devices, 20 large black pots and other items used in the growing of marijuana.

Another search warrant was executed at a residence on Wolf Clan Drive in White Earth on Jan. 10. In that incident, a total of 1,108 grams (2½ pounds) of marijuana were seized.

Arrested and charged with one count each of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance were Kenneth Frances Jackson, 83, and Timothy Allan Jackson, 54.

The charges against all eight individuals have been dismissed.

According to court documents, the charges were initially filed on the basis of evidence collected during the execution of search warrants that were issued based on information provided by an informant whose reliability was later called into question.

The charges were dismissed "in the interests of justice," according to the court orders filed for each case.