Suspect faces first degree DWI, drug charges; makes first appearance Tuesday

    A Grand Forks man faces charges in Polk County after law enforcement find drugs and paraphernalia during a stop where the man told them he was “checking his tires” after exiting the vehicle out of the passenger side door. Andrew James Caskins, 31, is charged with first-degree driving while intoxicated, third-degree controlled substance possession, driving after suspension and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    According to the court complaint, on Christmas Eve morning, East Grand Forks police officers were on routine patrol when they observed a vehicle stopped and a male, recognized as D.I.O., exit the vehicle. Officers knew D.I.O. had pending criminal charges in Minnesota and North Dakota for methamphetamine possession and sales. As they watched the vehicle they ran the plates which came back to the owner, Andrew Caskins.

    While watching Caskins’ vehicle, one of the officers radioed in to another officer on patrol to follow his vehicle. Caskins’ vehicle stopped one block from O’Leary Park and Caskins exited the passenger side of the vehicle. The officer thought that was suspicious as he was the only person in the vehicle, so they activated their squad lights. When asked what Caskins was doing, he replied that he was “checking the tires” and that the driver of the vehicle had “taken off.” The officer told Caskins that they observed him driving and eventually he admitted to it saying he didn’t want to get in trouble as his license was suspended, said the complaint.

    During conversation with Caskins, officers noticed his speech was very fast and his eyes were glossy. They asked Caskins if there was anything illegal in his vehicle or on his person, and he answered, “No.” He did not consent to a search of the vehicle, but consented to a search of his person. In Caskins’ front pocket, officers found a small clear baggie with white powder residue which field-tested positive for meth. They also found a cigarette carton with a “roach” inside and a one-hitter marijuana smoking pipe.

    Officers placed Caskins under arrest and transported him to the EGF police department, as well as towing his vehicle there to be searched. Inside his vehicle, officers found marijuana, brass knuckles, and another small clear plastic baggie which field-tested positive for meth. When asked for a urine sample, Caskins said he wanted to speak with his attorney. After a phone call to his attorney, Caskins refused to provide a urine sample. Officers then drafted a search warrant for Caskins’ blood or urine, and District Court Judge Jeffrey S. Remick signed off on the warrant.

    Caskins’ urine sample tested positive for marijuana and methamphetamine, said the complaint. Andrew Caskins has prior criminal convictions in North Dakota, Minnesota and New York.