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Officers find 47 grams of marijuana in drug bust

LUVERNE — A Brandon, S.D., woman is facing drug charges after law enforcement executed a search Saturday and discovered 47.4 grams of marijuana in her vehicle. 

Ashlee Michele Martin, 19, is facing one count of a felony fifth-degree drug possession, one misdemeanor count of possessing more than 1.4 grams of marijuana in a motor vehicle and one petty misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

At approximately 6:27 p.m. Saturday, law enforcement was monitoring traffic on Kniss Avenue when a vehicle traveling southbound with a suspended object from the rearview mirror was seen. Officers also noticed the driver was not wearing their seatbelt, and they proceeded to pull the vehicle over.

According to court documents, when law enforcement approached the vehicle and identified Martin as the driver, she allegedly admitted she was not wearing her seatbelt. While talking to Martin, officers noticed a moderate smell of marijuana and asked her to step out of the vehicle. Martin initially denied there was any marijuana in the car, as she said she and the passenger in the vehicle, identified as Brandon Lee Kirkeby, had allegedly been smoking at home earlier.

According to the criminal complaint, officers told Martin that if the amount of marijuana was small, it would only be a citation and she could leave. Martin then told officers she would provide the drugs to police, but didn’t want them searching the vehicle.

Police were then led to believe that there were more drugs in the vehicle. When questioned, Martin said she didn’t know if there were any pipes in the car and allegedly said the marijuana was in her purse.

Martin then proceeded to remove a stacked container that had large buds of marijuana in it from her purse and gave it to officers. Police then asked Kirkeby to step out of the vehicle to perform a pat-down safety search. Officers then began to search the vehicle and found a pipe with residue in it, a clear glass container that had a strong smell of marijuana once opened, a multi-colored cloth case and four drug pipes with burnt residue, according to court documents.

In the back seat, officers also noticed a small safe that was found locked. Officers also located wax tools with residue on one of the “pricks,” a pop can with a twist-off cap containing a small baggie of marijuana and another pop can that had a strong odor of marijuana coming from the can, according to the criminal complaint.

Martin then consented to a search of the safe, which led to officers’ discovery of a scale as well as many more baggies.

Martin was then arrested and taken to Nobles County Jail. A citation was issued to Kirkeby, who was later released. Martin’s wallet was searched at Prairie Justice Center, and $325 that was seized. The marijuana was weighed, with the total weight being 47.4 grams.

Martin makes her initial appearance in court early next month.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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