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Crow Wing drug agents receive federal award

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Crow Wing County drug agents Troy Nash and Derek Lavoy recently were presented an award from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) office in St. Paul for their work on a federal investigation that was initiated by the Lakes Area Drug Investigative Division (LADID) in 2009.

The case resulted in the federal convictions of four individuals for the sale and distribution of methamphetamine in the counties of Crow Wing, Aitkin and Mille Lacs.  

Nash, a Brainerd Police officer, was assigned four years ago to the LADID as a narcotics investigator. Nash previously received the Brainerd Police Officer of the Year.

Lavoy, a Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office investigator, has been with the sheriff’s department since 2005 and was previously awarded for Crow Wing County Investigator of the Year.

“The time and energy that agent’s Nash and Lavoy dedicated to this case was remarkable and they should get recognized for this,” said Sgt. Joe Meyer, of the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department, and commander of the LADID. “An award from the ATF for this type of case is a great honor and I’m proud to work with these agents on this and many other cases.”

Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl said several individuals, who were arrested in October of 2010 in connection with the 15- month drug investigation conducted in Crow Wing County, have been convicted in federal court for distribution of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine along with felon in possession of firearms.

Karl James Petnz, 48, rural Deerwood; Noel Gutierrez Manzanares, 37, unknown address; and Randy Lee Motzko Garrison, all pled guilty in federal court and will be sentenced at a later date.

Robert Garcia, 41, Garrison, was found guilty by a jury of his peers in February of distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Agents of LADID, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and the ATF testified throughout the week long trial in Minneapolis.

Throughout the investigation, agents were able to purchase and confiscate over 2 1/2 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of more than $150,000. Agents also filed seizure papers on six vehicles.

Sentences for the convicted suspects range from 10 to 40 years in federal prison.

Agencies involved in this investigation included the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, LADID, Division, BCA, ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration, Minnesota State Patrol, North Central Drug Task Force and the Brainerd, Baxter and Breezy Point police departments.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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