FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - A partially obstructed license plate led to a traffic stop in northwest Minnesota that ended in the seizure of $1.75 million worth of high grade marijuana.
Criminal complaints filed in Ottertail County charge 32-year-old Vontrail Kendle, 23-year-old Michael Dunnorm and 21-year-old Anthony Williams with first degree drug possession involving more than 50 kilograms of marijuana. All three men are from St. Paul.
A Minnesota State Trooper was on traffic detail on I-94 in Ottertail County March 1 when he noticed a white Ford pickup with a topper headed eastbound. The truck had plates that were obscured by brackets and other objects so the trooper pulled the vehicle over.
The pickup was occupied by the three men charged, and Kendle was at the wheel. When asked about their travel plans Kendle said they were driving from California after purchasing the truck from relatives there. The trooper asked him "So you drove out to California to pick up a truck?" "In law of mine gave me a good deal on it," Kendle replied. He was asked if the men made any stops on the way, and Kendle said they stopped once at a Super 8 to catch some sleep. When asked why he was on I-94 Kendle reportedly told the trooper his GPS told him it was the fastest way, while the trooper knew it definitely was not the quickest drive from California.
Dunnorm and Williams were questioned away from Kendle and said they never stopped at a hotel, and gave statements inconsistent withi Kendle's story. The vehicle was eventually towed and searched, and in the back investigators discovered 18 large black duffel bags filled with shrink wrapped packages of high-grade marijuana. When weighed it came to 570 pounds of pot, with an estimated street value of $1.75 million.