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Beltrami County District Court March 1

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Park Rapids, 56470
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In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Shari Schluchter:

Amber Lynn Erickson, 21, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Feb. 25 for gross misdemeanor third--degree DWI.

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She was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 335 days were stayed for three years. She must serve 24 days on work release with credit for six days; to be served consecutively with a separate case; pay a fine of $783; granted STS for $783; placed on probation to the courts for three years; not use alcohol; not enter bars or liquor stores; submit to random testing; complete chemical dependency evaluation and treatment within 30 days; complete aftercare and follow recommendations of evaluation.

At 1:50 a.m. Sept. 26, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy saw a vehicle with an inoperable rear light. The deputy observed the vehicle accelerate to 55-60 miles per hours on the dirt portion of Schroeder Road. He initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Erickson, who displayed the odor of alcohol and slurred speech. She admitted to having consumed a couple of beers and a shot earlier in the evening. She failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .185. She was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail where she registered a blood alcohol concentration of .19. Approximately 22 grams of marijuana were found in her possession. At the time of her arrest her license was revoked.

In Beltrami County District Court before Judge Paul Benshoof:

Kerry Ann Kellar, 26, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent March 1 to felony fifth-degree drug possession and misdemeanor fourth-degree DWI. Her next court date will be June 1.

According to the criminal complaint, at 11 p.m. Jan. 13, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy saw a vehicle parked at the house of a person who has been the subject of multiple narcotics investigations. The vehicle then left the home at a high rate of speed. The vehicle appeared to be traveling at varying speeds between 12-17 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. The vehicle continued on the road for approximately one mile and then turned into a residence on the 13000 block of Coyote Road N.W. The deputy pulled in behind the vehicle and walked up to the driver's side window. The car was occupied by a female driver identified as Kellar and a male passenger. The deputy observed a large Ziploc-style bag containing several prescription bottles of various sorts. Kellar appeared to have dilated pupils, slow reactions, her fingers were shaking and she seemed nervous and shaky. When asked about the large bag of medicine she said it was hers. Kellar was under court mandated conditions that she was not to use controlled substances and was subject to random searches. Kelliher failed field sobriety tests and was not under the influence of alcohol. She was arrested because she appeared to be under the influence of controlled substances. A search of the vehicle yielded a spoon, three hypodermic syringes and five small micro-baggies of methamphetamine. A fourth of a gram was seized from Kellar upon arrest. She has a prior conviction for fifth-degree possession of meth and a prior conviction for ineligible voting.

In a separate case, to be tried at the same time as the above case, she pleaded innocent to felony ineligible voter knowingly voting.

According to the criminal complaint, on Nov. 4, Kellar registered to vote in the general election. She was convicted in 2006 of felony fifth-degree controlled substance crime. The conviction makes her ineligible to vote.

Richard Joel Anderson, 34, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent for felony fifth-degree possession of drugs. His next court date will be April 6.

According to the criminal complaint, at 3:20 p.m. Feb. 18 a Bemidji Police officer stopped a vehicle for failure to use a seatbelt. A passenger in the car was identified as Anderson, who had outstanding warrants for his arrest. He was asked to exit the vehicle and appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. After exiting the car, he made a gesture and threw a set of keys with a container attached into the back seat. The officer could see that the small container had plastic sticking out of the lid. Inside the container there was a glass methamphetamine pipe and a small plastic bag containing what appeared to be crystal methamphetamine. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail, where the correctional officers seized more meth from his shoes. He has one prior conviction for second-degree burglary.

Robert George Tschida Jr., 45, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent to felony fifth-degree sale of drugs. His next court date will be March 9.

On July 11, 2008, a special agent with the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force obtained a search warrant for a home on the 6900 block of Pinto Lane Northwest. At 7:45 p.m., the agents seized four fully mature marijuana plants from the roof of the house. Another 21 starter marijuana plants were located on the kitchen counter. Agents also seized two bottles of methadone. The home was owned by Tschida and a woman. The woman said the plants were possessed and cultivated by Tschida. Tschida further admitted that he did not have a prescription for methadone, and that he obtained it from a man in the Solway area.

Joseph Leon Whitener, 44, of Bemidji, pleaded guilty Dec. 15 and was sentenced March 1 for felony fifth-degree drugs - procure/possess or control by fraud or deceit.

He was sentenced to 366 days in prison, which was stayed for five years. He must serve 19 days in jail; credit granted for 11 days served; supervised probation for five years; remain law-abiding; complete a diagnostic and or mental health evaluation, if Department of Corrections feels it is needed; must sign medical release authorizations to the Department of Corrections; follow all instructions of probation; complete a chemical dependency evaluation and treatment; follow all recommendations of evaluation; not use alcohol or controlled substances; submit a DNA sample and pay a fine of $1,133 of which $950 is stayed for five years.

On July 23, 2008, Whitener forged a prescription for Oxycontin and had the prescription filled at a local pharmacy.

In a separate case, he pleaded guilty Feb. 15 and was sentenced March 1 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI. A gross misdemeanor charge of driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety was dismissed at sentencing.

He was sentenced to one year in jail of which 335 days were stayed for two years. He must serve 19 days in jail; granted credit for 11 days served; placed on supervised probation for two years; pay a fine of $658, of which $450 is stayed for two years; remain law-abiding; follow all instructions of probation; complete a chemical dependency evaluation and treatment; follow all recommendations of evaluation; not use alcohol or controlled substances and complete a diagnostic and or mental health evaluation, if Department of Corrections feels it is needed; must sign medical release authorizations to the Department of Corrections

At 11:15 a.m. Jan. 21, 2008, a Bemidji Police officer responded to a report of a vehicle stuck in a snow bank in the 1400 block of Paul Bunyan Drive Northwest. The officer arrived on the scene and located the vehicle. The driver was identified as Whitener, who explained that he had attempted to turn onto Spruce Street from the Ridgeway Apartments when he lost control of his vehicle and wound up in the snow bank. The officer observed that Whitener had slow speech and seemed confused. When asked, Whitener said he had only consumed blood pressure medication earlier in the day. He performed field sobriety tests and gave a breath sample, which showed that he had not been consuming alcohol. He was arrested and transported to North Country Regional Hospital for a blood test. In a statement, Whitener said he had a prescription for Oxycontin and that he had taken his caretaker's vehicle without her permission. He has four prior convictions for driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety and six prior DWI convictions.

Forrest Daniel King, 23, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty Feb. 26 and was sentenced March 1, for gross misdemeanor obstruction of legal process-interfering with a peace officer and misdemeanor open bottle.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 350 days were stayed for two years. He must serve 15 days in jail; placed on probation to the courts for two years; pay a fine of $383 and remain law-abiding. For the misdemeanor charge he was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was stayed for one year; placed on probation to the courts for one year and pay a fine of $200.

At 2:30 p.m. Oct. 18, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy saw a vehicle traveling north on state Highway 89 towards him at 69 mph in a 55-mph zone. The deputy turned his squad car around and activated his emergency lights and initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle had four occupants. One of those occupants was King. While the driver was speaking with the deputy, King exited the vehicle with a 1.75 liter bottle of rum and walked to the front of the vehicle. The deputy instructed him to stop and he was subsequently restrained. While the deputy was arresting the man the driver pulled out into the lane of traffic and drove away. King displayed slurred speech, bloodshot watery eyes and appeared to be intoxicated. King was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail. He positively identified the driver.

Jordan Robert Lardinois, 22, of New Franken, Wis., pleaded guilty and was sentenced March 1 for gross misdemeanor furnishing alcohol to a minor.

He was granted a stay of adjudication with successful completion of probation resulting in a dismissal of the charge. He must serve 10 days on work release; not have any same or similar offenses; placed on probation to the courts for one year; pay a fine of $250.

On Oct. 2, 2009, Bemidji Police officers observed Lardinois hand a bottle of vodka to a woman who was underage, which he subsequently admitted to doing.

Thomas Lee Day, 58, of Delano, Minn., pleaded guilty and was sentenced March 1 for gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI.

He was sentenced to one year in jail, of which 335 days were stayed for two years. He must serve 25 days in jail with credit for five days served; placed on probation to the courts for two years; pay a fine of $858; must complete 16 hours of alcohol and drug awareness; not drink and drive; submit to random testing and not have any same or similar offenses.

At 9:30 p.m. Jan. 15, a Beltrami County Sheriff's deputy observed a vehicle traveling 11 miles over the speed limit. The vehicle was also being driven erratically. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Day, who had slurred speech and admitted to having a few drinks at a local resort. He failed field sobriety tests and registered a preliminary blood alcohol concentration of .146. He was arrested and transported to the Beltrami County Jail where he registered an alcohol concentration of .12. One prior DWI conviction.

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