Illinois man allegedly tried to pass off meth as insulin during traffic stop

Jacob Engberson was arrested on charges related to drug possession and driving while under the influence after a Feb. 16 traffic stop.

Mugshot of Jacob Engberson
Jacob Engberson

WORTHINGTON — A Rochelle, Illinois man was arrested in Worthington Feb. 16 on several drug and traffic-related charges, the most serious of which is a felony count of third-degree controlled substance possession. Additionally, Jacob Engberson, 45, faces a second felony for fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, gross misdemeanor DWI for allegedly refusing to submit to a chemical test, and misdemeanor DWI. Engberson is also charged with a petty misdemeanor for reportedly possessing drug paraphernalia.

The charges stem from a traffic stop in which a Worthington Police Officer observed the vehicle with a non-functioning rear passenger light. The officer initiated a traffic stop while the vehicle was entering a gas station parking lot.

The driver, later identified by his Illinois driver’s license as Engberson, voluntarily opened his door as the officer approached, due to his window not functioning. When the driver’s door opened, the officer observed a hypodermic needle in the side compartment and a glass vile wrapped in a small zip lock bag with liquid inside next to the needle.

While speaking with Engberson, the officer noticed his lips and eyes were involuntarily twitching and trembling continuously. Engberson informed the officer that the needle was used for insulin and the reason he was twitching was that he did not take his ADHD medication since noon. When asked, Engberson stated he did not know where his insulin or ADHD medications were, and according to the report, became defensive when asked further questions about his involuntary body movements and also began to stutter when speaking. The officer observed Engberson’s hands begin to shake.

Engberson explained he was traveling to Montana and claimed he did not use any illegal substances. Engerberson struggled to perform field-sobriety testing and claimed his behaviors were due to not taking his prescribed medications recently. Engberson reportedly claimed the glass vile observed in the door was his insulin, despite stating earlier that he did not know where it was. The officer did not observe any prescription label on the bottle.


Engberson was arrested and, while being searched, a metal spoon with residue was located on him. The residue field-tested positive for methamphetamine. During a search of the vehicle, officers located more unused hypodermic needles under the passenger seat and a zip-lock bag with white residue inside, which field-tested positive for cocaine. Two prescription bottles without Engberson’s name on them were also found. Both the hypodermic needle and glass vile with liquid found in the driver’s door field-tested positive for methamphetamine. The glass vile and liquid weighed 20.77 grams.

At the jail, Engberson stated the pills during the search were his, and that he had to use a relative prescription after his pills were crushed.

Engerson’s bail was set at $10,000 with conditions. His initial court appearance is scheduled for March 2. If convicted, Engberson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine for the charge of possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. The fifth-degree possession charge carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine and the third-degree DWI charge has a maximum penalty of one year in prison and/or a $3,000 fine.

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Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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