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Detroit Lakes man in court for possessing meth; prior warrant out for his arrest

A Detroit Lakes man made his first appearance Tuesday in Becker County District Court on a felony drug possession charge.

Steven James Wateland, 36, of 524 Union St., Detroit Lakes, was charged as the result of a May 28 incident in Detroit Lakes.

A sheriff's deputy who was driving in the city of Detroit Lakes just before midnight observed a couple walking down the street, who as soon as they saw his squad car, turned and ran behind a semi truck parked in the loading dock behind Michael's Furniture.

When the deputy tracked them down, he heard the woman say, "No, don't run, stay here and talk to him." Wateland then appeared to toss something toward the bumper of the semi. When asked what it was, he said he had been going to the bathroom. The deputy then patted down Wateland, finding a knife and a Leatherman tool. He later found a wrapper near where the defendant had appeared to throw it, and found a substance that appeared to be methamphetamine inside. The substance later tested positive as meth. After some resistance, Wateland was taken into custody. He has three prior drug-related convictions on his record from North Dakota, all Class C felonies, from 2000 and 2005. There has also been one warrant out for his arrest in Minnesota.

Wateland has been released on $3,000 bond pending his next court appearance, at a June 20 omnibus hearing.