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Kruse charged in Iona burglary

SLAYTON -- Johnathon Jay Kruse made an initial appearance in Murray County District Court Monday for his alleged involvement in the burglary of Kadupers Bar in Iona.

Kruse, 34, is faced with charges of burglary and theft in Murray County, and is also charged with possession of a firearm, fifth-degree controlled substance and receiving stolen property in Nobles County.

As a consequence of a search at Kruse's residence in Worthington, a search was also conducted at the residence of Brad Allen Mayefske, 40, of Round Lake. He is now charged with fifth-degree controlled substance possession, receiving stolen property, contempt of court and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The complaints state a burglary occurred after closing time July 26. The owner noticed the burglary the following morning when he tried to open for business because the cash register was missing. Also discovered missing was 16 to 18 packs of cigarettes of several brands and $1,250 from the pull tab machine, which had been pried open.

The owner knew the alarm had been set when the bartender has closed for business, because it was still armed when he arrived.

Investigation of the incident showed the burglary was pre-planned while the bar was still open for business. Entry was gained through a door that had been barricaded from the inside. To get to the barricaded door, the burglar had to pry open a locked interior door, then enter the storage room and remove two wooden bars and a crow bar on the exterior door. The alarm on the door had been disabled.

The suspect came back after closing, the complaint states, entered through the now-open exterior door and walked in.

The container which held the pull tab money was removed, all of the cigarettes were gone and the entire cash register was taken.

The bartender said she had known all of her customers from the night before well except for two.

In hindsight, she said, they seemed suspicious. She said when she was getting ready to close, she noticed one of those customers, a man named John, went to the bathroom and was gone for a long time.

That was when the barricades were removed, she believes.

She also remembered the female talking about school or training for law enforcement and the man, later identified as Kruse, said he was a special agent.

When the bartender left that night after closing, she saw a vehicle sitting nearby with Kruse and the female inside.

They headed toward Slayton as she left, she said.

The Murray County Sheriff's Deputy contacted the Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force, who helped positively ID Kruse.

The agent stated he knew from part law enforcement experience that Kruse would be very capable of pulling off this type of burglary.

The agent told the deputy the task force was conducting an investigation at Kruse's residence and requested the deputy be present at a search to help positively identify items that may have come from the bar.

At the residence in Worthington, agents found Kruse and Mayefske, along with another female who lived at the residence.

Agents got permission from the female to search the residence for stolen property from Kadupers.

In the basement, the agents found a freezer full of Deli Express sandwiches.

The agents were aware of a July 12 incident in which a Deli Express truck was broken into and the sandwiches stolen.

In a camera bag on a table near the house, they found a camera case that contained four packs of cigarettes, a roll of cash and a police scanner.

At that point, the agents stopped the consent search and applied for a search warrant.

During the subsequent search, an agent found the cash register in the backyard next to the garage.

Also located were numerous beer steins, a glass pipe with methamphetamine residue, a usable amount of meth, and a pouch containing $2,100 in cash and credit cards bearing two different names.

Also found in the basement was black clothing, including a face mask and gloves, which was damp. Sandwiches and burritos were found, along with a wooden basket containing cigarettes and a special police badge.

An agent also found a .22 caliber rifle in the basement. Kruse, a convicted felon, is ineligible to possess firearms.

Mayefske denied being involved in any criminal activity, allegedly stating Kruse had said he was in Iona the night before.

Kruse declined to give a statement.

The following day, agents performed a search at Mayefske's residence, locating Deli Express sandwiches, along with a digital scale, glass pipes with residue and zip baggies with residue.

Mayefske has a previous conviction for meth-related crimes involving children. He currently has charges pending for first- and second-degree controlled substance crimes, for which he was released on his own recognizance June 28.

Kruse has a criminal history that dates back to aiding in the possession of an explosive device and theft of a motorcycle in 1996.

He's been convicted of controlled substance possession, possession of burglary tools, theft, receiving stolen property and damage to property.

In 2007 he was sentenced to 21 months in prison for several of those convictions.

His bail was set at $75,000. Mayefske's bail was set at $2,500.

Both were granted public defenders.