Richard Cook, Rice County Sheriff, released the following information in an email shortly after 8 a.m. on Monday. Check back for more information soon.
SEVEN ADULTS AND ONE JUVENILE AWAIT CHARGES FOLLOWING HEROIN PROBE
The Rice County DTF conducted an operation this past weekend resulting in the apprehension of seven area adults and one juvenile identified through recent investigation as active in trafficking heroin to area youth.
The adults will be arraigned Monday morning October 27 in Rice County District Court at 11:00 a.m… Sheriff Cook, Chiefs Taylor and Collins will conduct a press conference with local media at 2:30 p.m. after all have been arraigned in the lower level conference room of the Rice County Courthouse.
With this arrest and further investigation we feel the trafficking of narcotic distribution has been significantly interrupted and those who diminish our quality of life have either been arrested or put on notice.
We want to accentuate although this is a very serious and dangerous problem; it involves a minority of individuals and does not represent the main stream of Rice County or Northfield.
We will now look to the courts to support our efforts in protecting our youth and community from further harm while we continue our investigation.
This investigation is directly attributable to the reorganization and focus of the Drug Task Force earlier this year and the result of hard work and dedication of agents from the Rice County Sheriff’s Office, the Police Departments of Northfield and Faribault with assistance from the Minnesota BCA.
The investigation will continue concentrating on the importation and distribution of drugs into Rice County from the metro and other areas. At some point additional arrests will occur as this investigation is ongoing and wide-spread.
Drug abuse is a problem not only here but throughout our state and country. Unfortunately this highly powerful class of narcotics has found its way into the hands of a minority of our area youth through drug peddlers. The threat of new victims is real without significant intervention on all fronts. These underworld activities are slow growing and covert. This culture did not appear overnight, growing over a matter of years taking over the lives of those who have fallen victim. Some have worked to overcome their addiction, others have been overcome. For those victims we are working tirelessly to turn this disturbing trend around.
For the youth and adults who find themselves trapped in a life of addiction and are looking for a way out, we have information on resources available in the area outlined in the attached handout to help.
We are committed in Rice County to eradicate the importation, distribution and consumption of illegal drugs, educating our youth in making healthy choices, holding accountable with meaningful consequences those who drag down our quality of life. Furthermore we are committed to breaking the cycle of addiction by offering treatment options to those in need by supporting a systemic, community-wide approach to a community issue.
Rice County Sheriff
Northfield Chief of Police Mark Taylor
Update 10/27 2:10 p.m.: The names and ages of the adults charged are as follows: Alexander Bruce Benson, 20, Lucas Patrick Benson, 19, Jacob Andrew DeMann, 21, John Blaze Frank, 21, John Shelby Hanks, 21, Travis Roy Peterson, 19, Patience Carol Stopke-Huisentruitt, 18.