Howard Lake Herald, June 15, 1998

Wright Co. drug task force has busy quarter

By Sgt. Lenny Walker

The second quarter has been hectic and productive for the Wright County Drug Task Force.

The number of arrests for the second quarter is down from the first quarter to approximately 20 arrests as of June 9. This is due mainly to the large number of arrests in the first quarter, 54, and the follow-up investigations that accompany them.

The task force has acquired additional duties relating to evidence during this quarter. The evidence computer program was installed and is up and running. The task force is now handling all of the evidence intake and documentation for the department.

The task force seized a methamphetamine lab in the second quarter that was the source of a large supply of methamphetamine in the county. This arrest was made in Otsego.

Agents in the task force have also been working with the attorney general's office on the charging of two present cases, the U. S. attorney in one case, and the county attorney, Tom Kelly, on several other cases.

A thermal imager was acquired by the task force, utilizing forfeited funds, and we now have the capability of using heat source technology in Wright County.

Training during the second quarter consisted of one agent trained in surveillance video, as well as covert video applications.

The clerical person and two agents attended a two-day class put on by the International Association of Property and Evidence in the proper procedures and techniques in handling and processing of evidence.

All officers attended the three-day Canadian/American Drug Conference and Sgt. Lenny Walker, who was elected as the president of the Minnesota State Association of Narcotic Investigators, gave the opening at the conference.

Walker also attended two seminars on grant funding. Funding for Wright County will remain the same next year, $53,000. Walker is presently preparing the grant application and paperwork for this funding.

There were five public presentations given in the second quarter by Walker to different groups in the county.

The force assisted in preparation for the annual auction and two persons were present during the auction for explanation on property being sold, which included two older vehicles and a small amount of other items from the task force.

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