Two men face felony drug charges in Carlton County
Two convicted felons face four counts each of felony drug possession after being pulled over for speeding on Interstate 35. Tristan Leroy Trice, 28, and Robert Donelle Williams, 34, are both charged with one count of felony first-degree controlle...
Two convicted felons face four counts each of felony drug possession after being pulled over for speeding on Interstate 35.
Tristan Leroy Trice, 28, and Robert Donelle Williams, 34, are both charged with one count of felony first-degree controlled substance crime, three counts of fifth-degree controlled substance crime and two counts relating to possession of a firearm by a felon. Trice appeared Monday in Carlton County Court; Williams appeared for the first time Wednesday morning.
The charges stem from a traffic stop more than two months ago.
According to the criminal complaint, at about 11:45 p.m. June 3, Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Matt Respet pulled over a motor vehicle on Interstate 35 near Cloquet's 14th Street overpass for traveling at 90 mph in a 70 mph speed zone. When he approached the car, Respet noticed "several indicators of potential controlled substance activity" from both the driver, Trice, of Maple Grove, Minn., and his passenger, Williams, of Columbia Heights, Minn.
Because he saw indications of drug use, Respet summoned a fellow State Patrol trooper to bring a drug-detection canine. While he waited for the dog, Respet had a Cloquet police officer transport Trice and Williams to the Black Bear Casino because both men had indicated they did not want to be held roadside by the trooper, something the complaint notes they have a right to request.
When "Skippy," the canine partner arrived, the animal gave indicators of possible drugs on several parts of the vehicle, including the right rear wheel well, the passenger compartment, the front wheel well and the center console.
During a subsequent search, officers found more than 50 grams of packaged marijuana, 38.4 grams of crack cocaine, 19 ecstasy pills and 1.5 hydrocodone hydrochloride pills and a loaded pistol with three loaded magazines.
However, according to the complaint, when law enforcement officers from the State Patrol, Cloquet and Fond du Lac returned to the casino, the two men had fled.
A complaint was filed in the case July 13 and a warrant issued for both men that same day. According to jail records, Trice was picked up July 16 by the Carlton County Sheriff's Office. Williams was picked up this week and made his first appearance in Carlton County Court on Wednesday morning, when the judge set his bail at $100,000.
Both Trice and Williams have several felony convictions of violence on their records and could face lengthy prison sentences if convicted of the charges.
According to the criminal complaint, Trice has at least seven criminal points on his record and just got out of prison a few months ago for several felony crimes, including felony domestic assault. Williams was released from parole status May 1 for the crimes of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. Both also have controlled substance crimes on their record.
On Monday, defense attorney Jeremy Downs requested that Trice's bail be reduced because he has a daughter whom he takes care of when he's home. Macaulay denied that request.
Trice's next hearing is Aug. 31, while Williams is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.