NORTHFIELD — Two men local law enforcement say are the “main source of methamphetamine” in the region were arrested Thursday in Northfield.
At the time of their arrest, Cole Earl Thompson, 37, of Le Sueur, and Joshua Larkin Reiter, 43, of Faribault, possessed more than a pound of methamphetamine, a ¼ pound of marijuana, almost 2 grams of heroin and almost 200 assorted pills and capsules they didn’t have prescriptions for, according to a criminal complaint filed in Rice County court.
Agents with the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force had gotten information that the two were headed south from Minneapolis after reportedly picking up a delivery from drug cartel members.
Once spotted by agents, Reiter and Thompson were taken into custody inside a Northfield convenience store. Reiter, agents knew, was driving with a revoked license and that Thompson was wanted on a federal arrest warrant.
Federal court records show Thompson has an April 2008 conviction for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and aiding and abetting, and that he’d violated the terms of his probation.
Thompson, according to the complaint, is the “top distributor,” while Reiter is one of his runners, someone who wires money to Mexico to pay for shipments of drugs to Minnesota.
Once the drugs arrive in Minnesota, Thompson allegedly sells “pounds of controlled substances to high-level dealers.” Those dealers then break down the drugs into smaller quantities for mid-level dealers.
After a K-9 officer brought to the convenience store indicated the presence of drugs, officers applied for a warrant allowing them to tow Reiter’s SUV and search it.
“The amount of methamphetamine required for a first-degree sale is 17 grams,” said the complaint. “Thompson and Reiter possessed more than 26 times the amount required to prove first degree sale.”
Thompson and Reiter were charged with eight felonies each for sale and possession of a variety of illegal drugs. The most serious is a charge of first-degree sale of meth.
“These two are high-level dealers, dealing with the cartel and bringing large amounts to distribute among a dealer network,” said Rice County Attorney John Fossum. “They are responsible for large amounts and the community will be safer with them off the streets. This was excellent work by our dedicated task force to catch them with more than a pound of methamphetamine.”
Thompson and Reiter are being held in the Rice County Jail. Judge Thomas Neuville set unconditional bail in the amount of $1 million and conditional bail in the amount of $500,000.
Both Thompson and Reiter have multiple prior drug convictions. Under current sentencing guidelines a conviction would bring a sentence of 10 to 15 years in prison.
Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy