NEW ULM - Following several sting operations in New Ulm in February, a 31-year-old New Ulm man was charged Monday with four felony controlled substance charges for allegedly selling and possessing methamphetamine and other drugs in his apartment.
According to the complaint, a Brown-Lyon-Redwood-Renville Drug Task Force (DTF) agent was contacted Feb. 5, by a cooperating individual (CI) regarding the sale of methamphetamine (meth) in Brown County. The CI told the agent he could buy an "eight ball" of meth from Ronnie Lee James Bottenfield Krueth for $420.
The agent and a New Ulm Police officer met with the CI and equipped him with an electronic listening recording/listening device and gave him $445 in pre-recorded buy funds. The extra money was given to him because Krueth kept changing the meth price, according to court documents.
The CI was driven by Hillside Apartments on the 1500 block of North Payne and went to Krueth's apartment. Krueth weighed an "eight ball" of a crystalline substance resembling meth and told the CI he'd give him "a little extra" and put the substance in a baggie in exchange for $435. Krueth said he'd give the CI two more ounces of meth in the near future, according to court documents.
The CI gave the agent the baggie containing the suspect meth and remaining $20 in buy funds. An NIK test on the suspected meth indicated it was meth.
The CI told the agent Krueth had about three pre-packaged "eight balls" of meth and about 10 pre-packaged half-gram units of meth ready for sale, according to court documents. The agent confirmed the weight of the baggie/substance was 3.8 grams.
Two days later, the CI told the agent he could buy eight grams of meth from Krueth for $720. The CI was given a recording/listening device and $1,000 in pre-recorded buy funds, according to court documents.
The CI bought the meth that was later tested positive for meth by the agent. Another meth purchase of four grams was made on Feb. 11, at Kreuth's apartment. The suspect meth tested positive for meth, according to court documents.
The DTF executed a search of Kreuth's residence pursuant to a search warrant signed by a Brown County District Court Judge on Feb. 15.
Inside Kreuth's apartment, agents noted he appeared to be under the influence of a powerful stimulant. He was removed from the apartment an detained in a squad car, according to court documents. Nobody else was in the apartment.
Searching the residence, agents found 66 20-mg tables of OxyContin, drug paraphernalia items, three digital scales, $3,210 in cash including more than $1,000 in DTF pre-recorded buy funds, 1.8 grams of suspect meth that later tested positive, many plastic baggies with suspect meth residue. according to court documents.
Kreuth faces up to 30 years in prison and/or a $1 million fine for first-degree controlled substance sale, up to 25 years and/or $500,000 fine for second-degree intent to sell a controlled substance, up to 20 years and/or $250,000 fine for two third-degree controlled substance possession charges.
Kreuth's court appearance date remains to be set.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).