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Pair charged with drug counts

FAIRMONT — A Truman man and woman are facing multiple felony charges in Martin County.

Jeffery Lee Heitz, 57, and Leeann Shendel Kroc, 35, have each been charged with the sale of narcotics in the third degree, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

They also both face a charge of storing chemical substances in the presence of a child, as well as a charge of storing meth paraphernalia in the presence of a child. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

In addition, Heitz is charged with one count of 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:

On Dec. 4, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper was driving south on Highway 15 when he observed a maroon Dodge Caravan weaving over the fog line onto the shoulder multiple times. Eventually the trooper conducted a traffic stop.

The driver was identified as Kroc and the trooper was able to observe a 4-year-old child and an adult male, later identified as Heitz. Heitz was frantically and nervously attempting to buckle the child restraint. The trooper saw Kroc place an unlit cigarette backwards in her lips.

Kroc was asked to exit the vehicle and sit in the front seat of the trooper’s patrol car while he ran her license. Kroc nervously spoke about things unrelated to the traffic stop, and said Heitz was the owner of the vehicle but did not have a license.

The deputy received consent from Kroc to search the vehicle, and another deputy arrived to assist. Deputies also received consent from Heitz to search him for weapons or drugs. During the search, Heitz admitted he uses drugs, including meth within the last week.

A K9 was deployed to conduct an exterior sniff of the vehicle. It alerted to the presence of a controlled substance. An interior search of the vehicle revealed a small package of meth within a coin purse on Heitz, three baggies of meth in a pouch on the floor directly beneath the child seat, two glass pipes with meth residue, and multiple butane torches and empty meth baggies throughout the vehicle.

The deputy conducted a recorded interview with Kroc, who was advised of her rights. Kroc said Heitz brought the meth in the vehicle and that it was intended for both of them to use. After the trooper ended the recording, Kroc admitted she had used meth that morning.

The second trooper conducted a recorded interview with Heitz, who also was advised of his rights. Heitz said the reason the meth was in the vehicle was because Kroc was intending to sell it in Fairmont to obtain money for rent.

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