Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Oct. 4, 1999

Drug task force sees changes

The Wright County Drug Task Force has made over 20 arrests, and executed seven search warrants, including two indoor marijuana plots and three clandestine methamphetamine labs, in the past three months.

Task force agents are presently working on several cases including two outdoor cultivated marijuana plots, a major trafficker of cocaine and methamphetamine, and three more methamphetamine labs.

The task force has also seen an increase in time preparing and testifying in criminal court. Two of the major cases included a federal drug trafficking case, where the defendant pleaded guilty the day the trial was to start; and a methamphetamine manufacturing case where the four-day trial ended with a mistrial for juror misconduct. That case has been set for retrial later in the year.

Presentations on the dangers of drug abuse to local organizers including the Kiwanis Club of Buffalo and the North West Hennepin Fire Chiefs Association were recently given. A presentation on clandestine methamphetamine lab safety will be given to the Buffalo Fire Department in the future.

Personnel changes

Promotions and transfers have played a part in the task force in the past few months.

Agent Todd Hoffman was promoted to sergeant to fill Lenny Walker's position as Walker was promoted to lieutenant. Wright County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Lang was transferred from the patrol division to the task force. Hoffman's position has not been filled yet. Hopes are that when the sheriff's patrol division is back up to full strength, Hoffman's spot can be filled.

Jacqueline O'Dowd, who was working as a Wright County dispatcher, took the position of secretary for the task force.

Due to the movement of personnel, a large amount of time was given to hands-on training for the new staff.

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