The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 22, 2013

Rice County tip leads to local meth sting

By Dan Nienaber
The Free Press

MANKATO — A half ounce of suspected methamphetamine, 5 ounces of marijuana and a large amount of cash were confiscated by the local drug task force after agents received a tip from a Rice County investigator this week.

Three men and a woman also were arrested in the sting, which included two drug deals that allegedly took place near Fitzgerald Middle School and Riverbend Academy charter school.

The cash and marijuana were found when an apartment in the 200 block of Washington Court was searched, according to criminal complaints filed in Blue Earth County District Court.

A meth buy was set up with 31-year-old Joshua Michael Giese on Wednesday after the Rice County detective called an agent with the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force. The detective told the agent an informant had made arrangements to meet Giese "at a church parking lot up the hill from a bridge." The Rice County officer wore a wire when he used $600 in pre-recorded cash to buy about a quarter ounce, or around 7 grams, of meth, the complaints said.

Arrangements were made to have the same officer make a similar deal in the same general area Thursday. This time a Mankato detective was used to watch the Washington Court area where they suspected Giese, who has a Minnesota Lake address, was coming from. The detective reported seeing him standing on the steps to 211 Washington Court before the second deal.

Task force agents went to that residence after arresting Giese on Thursday. When they arrived, they spoke to 28-year-old Justin Michael Kump, who said he lived at the apartment with his brother, 31-year-old Jason Lee Kump. When asked if he knew Giese, Justin Kump allegedly said Giese had just been there and frequently visits the apartment.

An agent went to the Kumps' apartment and knocked. He reported he asked Jason Kump if he could talk to him in the apartment and Kump invited him in. While the agent was in the apartment, he recognized 19-year-old Caci Rose Palmer, a woman who had been released from jail Jan. 29 after serving a sentence for a meth possession conviction.

The agent also reported seeing three or four pipes he suspected had been used for smoking methamphetamine. A bag containing meth also was found in a couch where Jason Kump had been sitting, the complaint said. Three small bags of alleged methamphetamine also were found in a pill bottle in Justin Kump's pants pocket.

A warrant was issued allowing the officers to search the apartment. They reported finding 5 ounces of marijuana in a safe in a room where Giese allegedly was staying. An envelope containing $1,200 in cash and $600 in marked money that had been used during the sting also was found.

Giese is charged with one count of first-degree drug sales, two counts of second-degree drug sales and two counts of drug sales in a school zone.

Both Kumps and Palmer have each been charged with one count of third-degree drug possession in a school zone and one count of fifth-degree drug possession.