The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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April 29, 2013

Traffic stop leads to methamphetamine- dealing arrests

MANKATO — A traffic stop that resulted in the arrest of two people for allegedly planning to make methamphetamine also led to the arrest of three others for allegedly dealing the drug from a Mankato hotel room.

The arrests started Friday when a North Mankato police officer stopped a vehicle for driving after revocation. The officer had followed Marcus Wayne Leith, 36, from North Mankato into Mankato before making the stop.

A small amount of methamphetamine was found in the vehicle, so Leith and his passenger, 32-year-old Andrea Marie Hansen, were arrested. An agent from the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force also was called to assist. He and the North Mankato officer also reported finding Acetone and a drain-cleaning product, which the agent suspected were going to be used for the “one-pot method” of making methamphetamine.

The North Mankato officer also told the agent he had seen Leith’s vehicle at the Days Inn in Mankato earlier that day. A woman in the vehicle appeared to be making a drug transaction. So the task force agent went to the hotel to check its list of people staying there.

A search warrant was requested after the agent found Hansen’s sister, 23-year-old Anne Louise Hansen, on the list. Anne Hansen had two warrants for her arrest in Blue Earth County and another arrest warrant in Sibley County.

Other drug task force agents and Mankato police officers were asked to watch the room while the search warrant was obtained. The officers decided to go into the room early, however, because they suspected evidence was being destroyed. They reported hearing a commotion inside and Anne Hansen was making calls and sending text messages to Leith’s cellphone, which had been confiscated, according to criminal complaints filed Monday in Blue Earth County District Court.

About 5 grams of methamphetamine were found inside the hotel room along with a digital scale, packaging materials and drug paraphernalia. A sawed-off .22-caliber rifle also was found.

When Anne Hansen’s purse was searched, investigators allegedly found another 3 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale, drug paraphernalia and $329 in cash.

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