Court news: Fargo man gets 17 months for stolen truck; Feds take Bemidji man case involving 468 grams of meth
The suspect was sitting in the passenger seat of one of the stolen trucks, a 2002 Ford F150, and was the sole occupant of the truck, which was reported stolen in Clay County, according to court records.
DETROIT LAKES — Michael James Warren, 26, of Fargo has been sentenced in Becker County District Court for felony receiving stolen property.
A felony charge of felon in possession of a firearm was dropped in a plea agreement.
According to court records, on March 2, 2022, at approximately 8:21 p.m., Becker County dispatch advised that Otter Tail County deputies were on the Vergas Trails just into Becker County with two stolen vehicles and an individual with a warrant.
Warren was sitting in the passenger seat of one of the stolen trucks, a 2002 Ford F150, and was the sole occupant of the truck, which was reported stolen in Clay County.
He initially denied stealing the truck, but later admitted taking it from a farm field. He said he had not noticed that several .308 caliber rounds and .12 gauge shotgun shells were loose in the truck.
Warren was convicted of burglary and possession of methamphetamine in North Dakota in 2021 and is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition for life.
On Aug. 30, Becker County District Judge Gretchen Thilmony sentenced Warren to 17 months in prison at St. Cloud, with credit for 171 days served. He was ordered to pay a $50 fine plus $125 in court fees, and on Sept. 2 Warren was ordered to pay $1,920 in restitution to the rural Hawley man who owned the stolen truck.
Feds take over case of Bemidji man charged with 468 grams of meth
Felony drug and gun charges have been dismissed in Becker County District Court against a Bemidji man, because he has been indicted in federal court for the same incident and is now in federal custody.
Levi Adam Westbrook, 29, of Bemidji was charged in Becker County District Court with felony first-degree controlled substance crime and felony gun possession.
According to court records, on May 2, special agents with the Southeast Minnesota Gang and Drug Task Force were investigating a possible drug transaction in the area of Coon Rapids, Minn.
During the investigation, agents observed three vehicles meet in a parking lot, leave for a short amount of time, and then meet again. One of the vehicles was already being investigated for narcotics in southeast Minnesota.
After the meeting, two of the vehicles headed north in tandem, and the other headed south. The vehicle that was headed south was later stopped, and a large amount of methamphetamine was seized.
Based on this, the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force directed law enforcement to stop the northbound vehicles.
One of the vehicles, a GMC Yukon, was stopped by a Hubbard County deputy on County Road 26 in Becker County.
Westbrook was a passenger, and he refused to comply with commands and struggled with law enforcement. During the struggle, a special agent saw a large bag of suspected methamphetamine on the passenger floor next to Westbrook's feet. After he was arrested, a large amount of cash was found in his pants pocket and the meth field-tested positive and weighed 468 grams.
Westbrook was previously convicted of felony second-degree controlled substance crime in 2017, which prohibits him from possessing firearms or ammunition.
A special agent searched the vehicle and found a unique looking pen between the two front seats. As the agent was inspecting it, an explosion went off. It was determined the pen was a "pen gun." When the tip of the pen was unscrewed, a .22 caliber shell casing was found.
The Becker County charges were dismissed on Oct. 7.