Alvarado man arrested in Crookston on multiple drug charges

Times Report
Crookston Times

    An Alvarado man will make his first appearance on October 8 in Polk County District Court after having been arrested in Crookston on seven charges including first-degree drug sales, possession, driving while under the influence and failure to affix tax stamps to drug packages. Nathan Terrance Brickzin, 39, faces up to 136 years in prison and could pay $3,542,000 in fines (or both) if convicted of all charges and receives the maximum sentence.

    According to the court complaint, on September 15, Crookston police officers met with a confidential informant who stated they’ve been purchasing large amounts of methamphetamine from “Nathan” who lived in Alvarado, Minnesota. They said they usually purchase one-quarter pound of meth from Nathan and pay $1,100 per ounce. The CI also told officers that Nathan told them his goal was to make $100,000 in drug proceeds and that he currently had $80,000. The officers were able to identify “Nathan” as Nathan Terrance Brickzin.

    Soon thereafter, the CI placed a recorded phone call to Brickzin and stated they were looking for “two.” Brickzin allegedly replied that he “maybe could do three” and that he’d call the CI later. After exchanging text messages, the CI told officers that Brickzin agreed to sell the CI three ounces of meth for $1,100 per ounce at the Blue Moose parking lot in East Grand Forks, said the complaint.

    After following standard controlled buy procedures, the CI was provided with $3,300 in pre-recorded “buy money” and an electronic recorder/transmitter. The CI then went to the Blue Moose parking lot and a short time later a GMC Sierra drove into the lot and the CI got into the Sierra. The Sierra was registered to Nathan Brickzin of Alvarado. Later, the CI got out of the Sierra and it drove away.

    The CI then met with officers and turned over a gallon-sized Ziplock baggie (which had “1 lb” written on it) that contained three smaller Ziplock baggies with a crystalline substance inside of them. Later, a portion of the substance tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine. The packages weighed approximately 94 grams and had no tax stamps affixed. The CI then told officers that, in the past six months, the CI had purchased at least three pounds of meth from Brickzin.

    On September 24, officers were conducting surveillance near the residence of W.C. in Crookston when they saw Brickzin’s GMC Sierra parked. They observed Brickzin carry a cardboard box from a blue Monte Carlo to the Sierra and noticed W.C. bend over near the rear passenger-side tire of the Sierra before Brickzin entered the Sierra and drove off at the same time as the blue Monte Carlo. Officers followed the vehicles to Casey’s General Store in Crookston and arrested Brickzin, said the complaint.

    As they searched Brickzin they discovered $889 in cash which one of the $20 bills was later determined to match the pre-recorded buy money used in the controlled buy with the confidential informant. Officers searched the Sierra and found the cardboard box Brickzin was seen with contained several methamphetamine pipes, plus they found a black box under the rear passenger tire which contained 191 pills bearing the imprint “A21”, 18 pills bearing the imprint “U17” and suspected meth. The pills were identified as oxycodone hydrochloride which weighed approx. 101 grams. The suspected meth weighed 4.4 grams without the packaging and tested positive.

    The driver of the Monte Carlo was identified as Fermin Rodriguez, 41, and was placed under arrest. An East Grand Forks police officer relayed that Rodriguez had prior gang-related history in Texas. In a statement, Rodriguez told officers he rode with Brickzin from Alvarado to Crookston and was told that Brickzin wanted Rodriguez to drive a car back to Alvarado for him. Rodriguez admitted to holding the black case for Brickzin, but said he didn’t know what was inside. Rodriguez also initially denied knowing anything about methamphetamine, but later admitted there would be meth in his system because the cocaine he recently used was mixed with meth. In Rodriguez’s urine sample, methamphetamine, amphetamine and THC were found, said the complaint.

    On September 25, officers activated a search warrant for a blood or urine sample from Brickzin and his urine sample tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine.

    Brickzin has prior convictions of domestic assault and criminal vehicular operation. Rodriguez has prior convictions of robbery with a dangerous weapon, escape and assault on a peace officer in Oklahoma, and possession of a controlled substance in Texas. Officers also discovered Rodriguez had an active warrant out for his arrest in North Dakota after failure to appear.