Five arrested in Park Rapids drug buy
Five people were arrested and face felony charges in connection with a drug buy Thursday, Oct. 20 in Park Rapids where authorities seized meth, weapons and cash.
A buy involving a half ounce of methamphetamine resulted in the seizure of 80 grams of methamphetamine, hallucinogenic mushrooms and other controlled substances, along with several thousand dollars and two firearms, according to information released by the Hubbard County Attorney's Office.
The individuals charged are Levi Westbrook, First Degree Drugs-Sale, Obstructing a Police Officer with Force and Fleeing a Police Officer; Genaro Chavez, First Degree Drugs-Sale and Felon in Possession of a Firearm; Jordan Brewster, First Degree Drugs-Sale; David Whitcomb, First Degree Drugs-Sale; and Jeffrey Von Doehran, First Degree Drugs-Sale.
The Park Rapids Police Department was assisted by the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force.
According to complaints filed in Hubbard County District Court, agents with the Paul Bunyan Task Force conducted a buy using a confidential informant to purchase methamphetamine from Whitcomb, 21, of Park Rapids and Westbrook, 23, of Cass Lake. The confidential informant set up a meeting with Whitcomb by Lindquist Park in Park Rapids and provided Whitcomb with $650 for the methamphetamine.
The complaint states Whitcomb went to 614 Fourth Street in Park Rapids and provided Westbrook with the buy money. Westbrook, along with Whitcomb, Chavez, 28, of Park Rapids and Brewster, 19, of Park Rapids then allegedly went to where the confidential informant was waiting to receive the drugs. Prior to leaving the residence, Westbrook allegedly gave Brewster a butcher knife for protection, as stated in the criminal complaint.
The audio conversation between the four individuals and the confidential informant was monitored by task force agents who said in the complaint they could overhear the conversation which was confrontational towards the informant, who sounded scared. The informant later said he felt threatened by Westbrook.
As the four individuals left the informant, the Park Rapids PD investigator and task force agents identified themselves as police officers and attempted to arrest the four individuals. Brewster, Chavez and Whitcomb all complied with the officers' commands, but according to the complaint, Westbrook looked at the investigators and laughed, released the dog he had with him and took off running. A butcher knife was recovered on the ground by the three individuals being held at the scene.
Westbrook was apprehended and during the arrest allegedly tried to open a bag and empty the contents, which later tested to be approximately one quarter ounce of methamphetamine. Officers located on Westbrook the meth and buy money given to Whitcomb by the informant.
The informant later told investigators he believed Westbrook was carrying a gun. While being booked at the jail, Westbrook said he intended to rob the confidential informant.
The investigator interviewed the individuals in custody at the jail and learned there were more controlled substances and firearms at 614 Fourth Street West.
According to the complaint, as investigators pulled into the driveway a vehicle backed out and accelerated, striking the investigator's vehicle. The driver was identified as Von Doehren, 27, of Sartell. A female passenger in the vehicle indicated there was a firearm in the vehicle.
A search of the vehicle turned up methamphetamine and a .22 caliber rifle, which the female passenger said belonged to Chavez.
After obtaining a search warrant, officers searched a vehicle and the residence and found approximately 80 grams of methamphetamine, hallucinogenic mushrooms, controlled substance suboxone and a loaded 20 gauge shotgun.
Chavez and Westbrook are convicted felons and cannot possess firearms. Westbrook has a prior controlled substance conviction.
All five individuals arrested appeared before Judge Paul Rasmussen on the charges Friday and made their initial court appearance as co-defendants in the case Monday.
The felony First Degree Drug-Sale charges are punishable by up to 30 years in prison and $1,000,000 fine.