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Man charged with bringing meth into jail

WORTHINGTON -- A Prior Lake man is charged with bringing methamphetamine into the Nobles County Jail after a routine traffic stop led to a drug arrest.

A Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force (BRDTF) agent was on routine patrol in Murray County when he saw a vehicle allegedly fail to signal, swerve in its lane and speed down U.S. 59. He stopped the vehicle, which had three people inside.

The agent noticed that the man in the back seat, later identified at Brian James Verdoes, 36, of Prior Lake, appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. The Murray County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit was contacted at the scene, and the dog indicated the presence of controlled substances. Verdoes, the registered owner, gave permission for the vehicle to be searched.

Authorities allegedly found pills that were identified as a schedule IV controlled substance. In the back seat, they found a soda can behind the driver's seat with meth on the bottom. Because he was in the back seat, Verdoes was arrested for possession of meth. All three men were brought to the Murray County Law Enforcement Center.

While in the jail, Verdoes exhibited strange behavior, lying on the floor with his legs raised in the air. He had requested to use the bathroom, and then changed his mind when told he would be watched.

Verdoes was transferred to the Nobles County Jail, and the agent told jail staff he believed Verdoes was hiding contraband in his rectum. He was placed in isolation, where he was required to ask staff when he needed to use the bathroom. More than 24 hours later, the agent was informed Verdoes had not used the bathroom, but staff said they observed him lying on his back with his feet in the air.

The agent obtained a search warrant asking that Verdoes be brought to Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington to be examined by medical staff and have any foreign objects removed from his person.

After being informed of the warrant, Verdoes agreed to use the bathroom and passed a plastic bag containing 1.8 grams of meth. He was examined at the hospital, but no evidence of any more foreign objects was found.

Verdoes is charged with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance and introduction or possession of contraband into jail. He faces a maximum combined penalty of six years incarceration and/or $13,000 in fines. Bond was set at $1,000. His next court appearance is 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Prairie Justice Center.