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Discovery of marijuana products leads to two arrests

Mendoza1 / 2
Gauthier2 / 2

WORTHINGTON — Two individuals were arrested in Nobles County Wednesday after a variety of marijuana products were allegedly discovered in their vehicle.

Shannon Mendoza, 34, of Spearfish, S.D. and August Gauthier, 22 of Winchendon, Mass. are each facing two charges of felony fifth-degree drug possession, not a small amount, and one felony charge each of fifth-degree drugs sale of a marijuana mixture except a small amount of marijuana with no renumeration.  

The charges stem from a Dec. 3 traffic stop of the suspects’ vehicle by a Minnesota State Patrol officer along Interstate 90 in Nobles County. According to the criminal complaint, the patrolman clocked the vehicle at 83 miles per hour along the interstate where a 70-mph posted speed limit was enforced.

Mendoza apologized for speeding upon contact and the patrolman could see marijuana dispensary tubes, multiple magazines from Colorado dispensary shops with marijuana leaves on the cover and a sticker that said “WANA” on a cellphone, the complaint continues.  

Gauthier denied search of the vehicle. The patrolman asked him to exit the vehicle so the K-9 could perform an exterior sniff of the vehicle. When Gauthier went to exit the vehicle, a large tube of dispensary marijuana rolled out next to the officer’s feet, the complaint states.

After the K-9 indicated illegal narcotics were within the vehicle, a total of 1,083 grams of marijuana in the form of buds, butter, edibles, wax and shatter and 25 grams of suspected psilocybin mushrooms were collected as evidence.

Mendoza and Gauthier’s bail was set at $5,000 with conditions and $15,000 without.

If convicted of either felony-level offense, the duo face a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.

Their initial appearance has been scheduled for Dec. 19 in Nobles County District Court.

Alyssa Sobotka

Alyssa joined The Globe in July 2017 and covers education and crime beats. The Nebraska native earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In her own sarcastic tone, her blog, Aimlessly Navigating, recounts the reality, pitfalls and triumphs of a young 20-something navigating to maturity. Follow her on Twitter: @alyssasobotka

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