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Rural Winnebago party caused many problems

WINNEBAGO — A large party on a farm southeast of Winnebago was raided recently by law enforcement officials.

The party, referred to as a “gathering” at a recent Blue Earth Area School Board meeting, resulted in numerous arrests and citations; an uptick of coronavirus cases locally; and a decision by the Blue Earth Area School Board to delay in-school learning for high school students.

According to information from law enforcement officials:

The Faribault County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip around 1:10 a.m. Aug. 9 of a possible party at 37312 180th Street. The caller reported numerous vehicles in the yard and on the roadway, both in front of the house and on 375th Avenue.

A sheriff’s deputy responding to the call saw numerous vehicles traveling on 180th Street. When the deputy drove past, he observed the parked vehicles and the traffic going to and from the party.

The deputy made contact with a vehicle full of juveniles on the side of the road who admitted there was a party and there could be underage people drinking.

After locating two intoxicated juveniles passed out, a search warrant was obtained for the welfare check of everyone on the property and in buildings, and for illegal narcotics in plain view in vehicles or on property, which were then to be seized.

Other officers arriving on the scene witnessed several individuals running into the corn fields.

In all, 25 to 30 alcohol-related citations were given out; one illegal narcotics arrest was made; one person was to be charged for possible narcotics possession later due to the state he was in at the party and was released to a parent; one person was to be charged for hosting the party; and three other narcotics citations are pending.

The information from the sheriff’s office notes that individuals at the party were from all over southern Minnesota.

Officials estimated at least 200 people were involved and attended the gathering, but law enforcement officials said an exact number is not possible to determine as vehicles were coming and going from the party, and deputies observed many persons running into the nearby cornfields.

Assisting the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office at the scene were the Blue Earth Police Department, Winnebago Public Safety and the Winnebago Ambulance.

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