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Stolen computer discovered during alleged meth bust


WORTHINGTON -- A search warrant executed in Worthington recently turned up more than illegal drugs -- a computer allegedly stolen from the Southwest Crisis Center was recovered during the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force probe.

The task force applied for a warrant last week after a confidential informant provided information linking Jeremy Allen Potter to the consumption and trafficking of methamphetamines.

Potter, 27, was less than a week away from serving five years of supervised probation for a 2004 controlled substance conviction when the search was executed at his residence on Milton Avenue. Task force agents arrived at the home shortly after noon on Dec. 8, but their knock went unanswered.

They forced the doors of the residence as provided for in the warrant.

In the garage, they found an area partitioned off by a hanging cloth. The area contained a space heater, as well as a table, couch and chairs. In the garbage can, agents allegedly found baggies and a broken glass tube containing meth residue. A bong was also recovered.

In the main floor bedroom, a Dell computer, monitor and keyboard were located and confiscated. The serial numbers had been removed. The following day, a detective turned on the computer and discovered the user names listed as "leon" and "leon2." Documents from the crisis center in Worthington were found on the computer. A computer with a value of more than $800 had been reported stolen from the crisis center Nov. 5.

Task force agents went back to the Milton Avenue residence and a woman claiming to be Potter's aunt answered the door. She yelled for her nephew, who came downstairs and was arrested.

At the Prairie Justice Center, Potter agreed to give a recorded statement. He allegedly said he thought the only things found by the task force were baggies with residue. He claimed he had recently been trying to quit using meth, but had smoked some last week in his living room. He used to smoke meth daily, Potter said.

When asked about the computer, Potter told authorities an acquaintance had brought it over several nights ago and asked him to hang on to it because he didn't have a place to keep it.

Potter admitted he figured the computer was stolen, and pointed out the name that showed up when the computer was turned on.

He was charged Friday with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, receiving stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond was set at $1,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 22.

Whether or not Potter will be charged with a probation violation is primarily up to the probation department, according to Nobles County Attorney Gordon Moore, but it could be warranted.

Technically, Potter's 2004 conviction should have been cause for a violation of the probation terms stemming from a 2001 conviction for second-degree riot, but Moore was unsure why no violation was filed.