Barnum man faces first-degree drug charge

Officers found the 35-year-old slumped over in his vehicle in a gas station parking lot, according to the criminal complaint.

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CARLTON — A Barnum man was arrested for possession of over 50 grams of methamphetamine after officers allegedly found him passed out in his vehicle on Thursday, Jan. 19.

Roger Petersen Jr., 35, has been charged with one count of first-degree drug possession, a felony, and a misdemeanor charge of driving while under the influence.

Roger Petersen Jr.
Contributed / Carlton County Jail

The drug possession charge comes with a maximum sentence of four to 40 years, a $1 million fine or both. The misdemeanor charge comes with a maximum sentence of 90 days, a $1,000 fine or both.

According to the criminal complaint, a Fond du Lac Tribal Police Department officer responded to a call from the Kwik Trip on Minnesota Highway 210 on Thursday for a driver slumped over in their car.

The officer believed the driver was experiencing a medical emergency or overdose, the complaint said. The officer opened the door and was able to wake the driver.


Before identifying Petersen, the officer found a plastic bag in the door of the vehicle that contained a crystal-like substance.

A Carlton County Sheriff's Deputy arrived at the scene and performed a field sobriety test, which according to the complaint, determined that Petersen was under the influence while operating his vehicle.

Petersen was then transported to Community Memorial Hospital, where he provided a urine sample after a search warrant was issued, the complaint said. The sample has been sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for testing.

Officers searched the vehicle and found multiple plastic bags with a crystal-like substance, which field tested for methamphetamine, along with a scale and a jar believed to contain THC wax, according to the criminal complaint.

The largest bag was found under the driver's seat and weighed in at 134.92 grams, the complaint said. The substance inside field tested positive for methamphetamine.

The complaint also noted that Petersen had a prior conviction of a first-degree sale of a controlled substance in 2018.

Petersen's next court appearance will be Friday, Jan. 27.

Steven Russell Macdonald faces two counts of burglary as well as mail theft and tampering with a motor vehicle.

Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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