Accomplice says package of meth brought here from Duluth was ‘cantaloupe-sized’

    Jose Angel Fuentes of Crookston remains incarcerated and awaits a November jury trial after local investigators for the Pine to Prairie Task Force say they found $10,000 worth of methamphetamine hidden in his garage wall in late August. Fuentes is charged with three felonies: first degree controlled substance sale, first degree controlled substance possession and failure to affix a tax stamp.    

    According to the complaint, on Aug. 25, Crookston Police Department officers, local investigators and members of the Tri-County Community Corrections Probation Department conducted a probation search on another individual's home in Crookston and found 5.8 grams of meth and drug paraphernalia. After questioning the individual, they learned that the meth came from Fuentes. The individual explained that he/she was with Fuentes and another acquaintance when asked if he/she wanted a "job" to pay off a drug debt and receive a couple "8 balls" for their trouble. After agreeing to the proposition, he/she found out that the job was to drive to Duluth to pick up some meth, the complaint states. Fuentes told he/she to meet up with the other acquaintance to get an envelope full of cash, the address and gas money to take with them, according to the complaint. The acquaintance told he/she to call when they arrived and when they returned. He/She left for Duluth on Aug. 23 and came back with a "cantaloupe-sized" package of meth or approximately 5-10 ounces.    

    After bringing the drugs to Fuentes' garage, Fuentes gave he/she the "8 balls," which were eventually seized by the Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force. He/She told the task force that he/she purchased meth from Fuentes every time he/she got a work paycheck, typically twice a month, the complaint states. He/She usually buys a "teener," or 1.75 grams, and said he/she purchased it approximately 30 times.    

    On Aug. 28, Tri-County Probation conducted another probation search with a different known individual, who said they would find four ounces of meth at Jose Fuentes' house.    

    Officers then made their way to Fuentes' home on South Broadway to investigate. After receiving consent from Fuentes' wife, they searched the home and garage. Behind a garage wall, they found 2.69 ounces of meth and discovered a safe with suspected marijuana inside and white powder on the safe itself, said the complaint. Officers then went to Fuentes' place of employment and arrested him. While being interrogated, Fuentes mentioned that investigators might have missed a light bulb, which he used to smoke meth in his garage. According to the complaint, officers went back a second time and located two light bulbs in the ceiling of the garage. Fuentes claimed he was storing the meth for another person to pay off a portion of his drug debt.     

    He is currently being held on a $75,000 bond and if convicted of all three felony charges, Fuentes could face up to 40 years in prison, $1 million in fines, or both. Fuentes has previous convictions of domestic assault, controlled substance crime in the fifth degree and burglary.