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Pair reportedly found with over 1,000 oxycodone pills during Worthington traffic stop

Both face charges of conspiracy to sell and first degree drug sale.

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Nelson (left) and Jackson (right)
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WORTHINGTON — Two Sioux City, Iowa residents were charged June 28 in Nobles County on dual counts of first-degree drug sale and conspiracy to sell, both felony-level offenses.

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The individuals were questioned by a Worthington police officer on June 27, after he observed their vehicle had a non-functioning license plate light. The officer followed the vehicle to a gas station near the junction of Interstate 90 and Highway 60 and activated his overhead emergency lights, before speaking with the occupants.

The driver verbally identified herself as Kaleta Rae Jackson, 50, as she reportedly could not locate her license. The passenger provided his Iowa license and was identified as Devin Nelson.

According to the report, Nelson appeared nervous and stated the vehicle belonged to his wife, who was not present.

After running Jackson's information, it was discovered she had an active arrest warrant from Woodbury County, Iowa. She was asked to exit the vehicle and the officer then spoke privately with her asking if there was anything illegal in the car.

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Jackson stated she and Nelson were traveling back to Iowa after visiting someone in New Hope earlier that day. The officer was suspicious that the occupants appeared to be making a nine-hour round trip when they reportedly couldn’t have stayed at their destination for longer than an hour.

Jackson denied that anything illegal was in the vehicle, and said she would test negative for drugs. She was arrested on the warrant.

The officer asked to search the vehicle, and Nelson refused. A K9 unit was then asked to perform an exterior sniff on the vehicle, after which the deputy in charge stated there was probable cause to search the vehicle.

Law enforcement reportedly located a small plastic first aid kit containing multiple vials of small round blue pills, believed to be Oxycodone.

Nelson was arrested and placed in a squad car.

More pills were reportedly found in a plastic tray and cigarette box inside the spare wheel compartment.

Both Jackson and Nelson were transported to the Nobles County Jail.

After processing, it was determined the vehicle contained 1,226 pills with a total weight of 136 grams.

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If convicted, both Jackson and Nelson face up to 40 years imprisonment, a $1 million fine or both, but no less than 65 months on each of the charges against them. Initial court appearances were scheduled for July 12.

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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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