Homeowner says lots of people came and went, and he’s not sure what was going on
The Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force has had their hands full with investigating crimes involving the possession, sale and manufacturing of controlled substances including methamphetamine.
The most recent case took them to the community of Trail.
According to the complaint, on April 22, a Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force investigator spoke to a female inmate in the Beltrami County Jail in Bemidji, who knew some information about a man who was manufacturing meth in his home and shop in the City of Trail. The inmate said she observed "Trapper," better known as Leslie Gene Stine, 34, cooking meth with anhydrous ammonia in the last couple weeks. Stine also operates a road grading company and has many connections in the area.
Over the course of the investigation, the investigator observed that Stine had purchased at least six boxes of pseudoephedrine in March 2014, at least seven boxes in April 2014 and was a frequent purchaser going back to August 2013. The complaint says that there were multiple purchases throughout pharmacies in Fosston, Clearbrook, Thief River Falls and Bemidji for Loratad, Claritin, Sudafed and other allergy medications commonly known as one of the ingredients of meth.
After receiving a search warrant on May 1, 2014, the investigator and officers from the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Crookston Police Department, East Grand Forks Police Department, United States Border Patrol and the Paul Bunyon Drug Task Force executed the warrant at Stine's residence, said the complaint. When they arrived, they first went to the shop, knocked and after no one answered went inside. They located empty bottles of butane fuel, empty Coleman camp fuel bottles, half a bottle of muriatic acid and an almost empty bottle of Toluol containing toluene (a clear liquid similar to paint thinner). According to the complaint, the shop was photographed and items seized before officers headed to the house. Again they knocked, but no answer so they went inside. PCSO deputy Nathan Rasch encountered Erick Roy Fjerstad, 35, upstairs and because of his pending controlled substance charges he was subject to a search. Fjerstad admitting to using meth the day prior and submitted to a urine test, the complaint states.
According to the complaint, Fjerstad said Stine gave him meth in exchange for helping to purchase pills for manufacturing. He had also purchased allergy meds from the same pharmacies that Stine frequented in the past couple of months. Stine had also recruited the help of Jessica Marie Campbell, 30, in purchasing pills for manufacturing. While she denied helping more than once, after further discussion, she admitted to multiple purchases, the complaint states.
After a thorough search of the home and shop, including the use of drug-sniffing dogs, officers found bottles with lids, wet coffee filters, liquid sprayers, hoses, grow lights, a charcoal-like substance in a pill bottle, other drug paraphernalia, and the dogs alerted to drugs in four different spots in the house. They also found a suspected drug ledger with a "pay/owe" sheet and a white binder containing documents on "Manufacturing Meth" and other drug-related materials as well as information on different types of explosives, said the complaint.
Stine soon arrived at the home and said he was a "junkie" but didn't manufacture meth. He claimed that lots of people come and go from his house and he didn't know what was going on. He was subsequently arrested.