Woman faces felony

FAIRMONT — A Fairmont woman is facing a felony charge in Martin County.

30-year-old Jessica Renay Lacek has been charged with drug possession in the fifth degree, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

At 11 p.m. March 31, a Fairmont police officer was on patrol when he observed a van turn north on Dewey Street in Fairmont. The officer ran the license plate and discovered the registered owner’s privilege to drive in Minnesota had been cancelled.

The officer drove around the area and observed the van pull over in the 500 block of East Sixth Street in Fairmont.

The officer drove past the vehicle and did not observe anyone get in or out. The officer believed this to be suspicious, as this area had recently had criminal damage to property complaints and is also known for frequent drug activity. The officer eventually turned around and came back toward the vehicle, shining his high beams so he could see the vehicle better.

As the officer approached the vehicle, he observed a female in the driver seat and what appeared to be a female passenger the back seat. The officer made contact with the female in the driver seat, later identified as Lacek, and asked what they were up to that night. Lacek replied they were picking up a friend of her passenger.

As the officer continued to question the women, he observed that they appeared nervous, as they were talking quickly and interrupting each other. When asked to whom the vehicle belonged, the passenger said she had borrowed the vehicle from a friend. When asked to provide identification, Lacek could not locate hers and the passenger handed Lacek a wallet from the back seat.

The officer asked Lacek why she was driving if she did not have a driver’s license, and she said she was not, she had just hopped in the driver’s seat. The officer asked the women if they were on probation. Lacek replied that she was on probation for controlled substance sales.

Lacek was asked to get out of the vehicle, and the officer asked how they drove there. Lacek said the passenger had driven them back from Walmart, but had gotten scared and pulled over. The officer had been advised that both women’s driving privileges had been revoked, and both were on probation.

The officer spoke to the passenger, who stated she had not driven, rather the driver had been a male. When asked where the male was, she said he was at Walmart, but she then later admitted she had been driving. The officer asked the passenger if she had a drug history, and she said she had used meth a long time ago.

The officer asked her if she would consent to have a drug K-9 sniff the van, and she stated it was not her van. The officer spoke to the women while waiting for the K-9, and explained this was an opportunity for them to give an honest answer about what might be in the vehicle. The passenger asked to speak to the officer alone.

The passenger stated there was a pipe in the vehicle, and the officer asked if there was any product in there. The passenger stated there was not, as it was with her male friend. She said the pipe belonged to Lacek and was in the backseat in a purse.

The officer cancelled the K-9 and went back to look inside the purse, where he found a zip glass case, and inside was a meth pipe. The officer observed residue on the meth pipe.

The officer asked another officer to search the females, and he explained to them that bringing contraband into the jail was a felony, and told them if they had something on them to be honest. Lacek then reached into her waistband and said she had a baggie on her, proceeding to pull out two small baggies that had white residue on them. The women were then placed under arrest and transported to the Martin County jail.

The passenger was read her rights and agreed to answer questions. During the interview, she acknowledged the pipe belonged to Lacek, but she had used it earlier that evening.

Lacek was also read her rights, and agreed to answer questions. Lacek indicated the pipe belonged to the passenger, but said she had used it earlier that evening. When asked about the baggies in her pants, Lacek stated that one was hers and the other belonged to her friend.

Lacek has a prior conviction for a third-degree controlled substance crime in 2015 out of Yellow Medicine County.