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Worthington man arrested on drug charges

WORTHINGTON — A Worthington man was arrested on felony drug possession charges early Wednesday morning after an officer pulled over the driver of a vehicle for driving after suspension.

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Melvin Larreynaga-Cruz, 20, was arrested for fifth-degree drug possession, illegal transportation of a firearm in a motor vehicle and possession of drug paraphernalia.

At approximately 3:28 a.m., Worthington Police Department Officer Mark Riley was providing assistance to a motorist whose vehicle had stopped running on Oxford Street when Riley recognized the driver of another vehicle passing by. The driver was later identified as Neris Larreynaga-Cruz. Riley knew that he did not have a driver’s license and proceeded to pull the vehicle over, according to the criminal complaint.

Riley spoke with the driver, who admitted to not having a driver’s license. Riley then asked for proof of insurance for the vehicle.

The passenger, Melvin Larreynaga-Cruz, opened the glove box to look for the information. That’s when Riley observed a box of CO2 canisters in the glove box, and he asked them if there was a CO2 pistol in the vehicle. “There might be,” Melvin Larreynaga-Cruz stated.

According to the criminal complaint, Riley asked the men to step out of the vehicle and performed a standard protective pat search.

While searching Melvin Larreynaga-Cruz, Riley felt an object in the front right pocket of his jeans. Riley retrieved the object, and found a glass pipe and butane lighter.

The pipe, which had burn marks, contained white residue. Riley performed a field test on the glass pipe, which tested positive for methamphetamine. Melvin Larreynaga-Cruz was detained pending the investigation of the case.

Riley began to search the vehicle and found a CO2 pistol under the passenger seat, which had a canister inside but no pellets.

After Riley found the pistol, Melvin Larreynaga-Cruz admitted it belonged to him, according to court documents.

Neris Larreynaga-Cruz was issued a citation for driving after suspension. Melvin Larreynaga-Cruz was booked into Nobles County Jail and is expected to make his initial court appearance early next month.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.

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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