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Jasper residents make court appearance

James Anthony Ramirez1 / 3
Laura Jane Zapata2 / 3
Amber Jean Schuld3 / 3

PIPESTONE -- One of three Jasper residents recently charged with methamphetamine-related crimes made an initial appearance in Pipestone County District Court Tuesday.

James Anthony Ramirez, 40, Laura Jane Zapata, 41, and Amber Jean Schuld, 29, were all charged recently with committing a meth-related crime in the proximity of a child. Ramirez and Zapata were also charged with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

According to the criminal complaint, the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at a home in the 200 block of East Fourth St. in Jasper. The home is occupied by Zapata, her brother Ramirez and his girlfriend Schuld, who has a 4-year-old daughter. The complaint states Schuld had been homeless for 15 days and was living with Ramirez at the residence with her child.

When the task force agents arrived, Zapata was home with her boyfriend, who lives elsewhere is Jasper. Ramirez and Schuld arrived during the execution of the warrant.

The agents allegedly located marijuana paraphernalia and a syringe in Zapata's room. Two more syringes and a clean test tube were found in Ramirez's room.

In the hallway between the two rooms, a garbage bag containing two pen tubes, one which tested positive for meth, were found, along with three glass pipes with residue. The agents found two pop cans with syringes, one of which test positive for meth residue. In the basement was a tin full of numerous needles.

The complaint states Schuld's daughter was taken into protective custody and turned over to Pipestone Family Services.

As of Tuesday afternoon, all three defendants were still being held in the Pipestone County Jail. Ramirez made a court appearance, while Zapata and Schuld's initial appearances are set for March 30. All three were granted public defenders last week. Bail was set at $25,000 for Ramirez, $5,000 for Zapata and $2,500 for Schuld.