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Meth lab discovered in Bagley

BAGLEY—Four people have been taken into custody after a methamphetamine lab was discovered at a Bagley residence Thursday. A toddler was found within 5 feet of the lab.

   
 
 

Andre Jon Chevalier, 53, Darrin Lee Forsberg, 44, Tambra Ann Laws, 56 and Gabrielle Violet Poitra, 42, all of Bagley were arrested after law enforcement executed a search warrant on the 900 block of Patricia Lane NW in Bagley.

Poitra and Forsberg were located in a downstairs bedroom where a one-and-a-half year old girl was found in a playpen. Also in the room was a mirror with white residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, court documents said. Laws was located in a separate bedroom in the house.

Chevalier was not at the residence, however, based on statements and personal items at the residence, he was apprehended at a gas station. Investigators located a printout of the statute for first-degree manufacture of a controlled substance with portions highlighted, including penalties, in Chevalier's bedroom, court documents said.

According to a statement of probable cause, officers located a gallon bottle of Muriatic acid, a component used in cooking methamphetamine, in a basement dryer along with a funnel and rubber gloves. The funnel had residue that field tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine, court documents said.

In a basement refrigerator, investigators located a one-pot clandestine methamphetamine lab. When the lab was discovered, the residence was cleared and the Bagley Fire Department and Clearwater Ambulance were called as a precautionary measure.

Chevalier, Forsberg, Laws and Poitra appeared in Clearwater County District Court Friday. Each is charged with felony first-degree controlled substance, possession of a substance with intent to manufacture methamphetamine and methamphetamine-related crimes involving children. A first-degree controlled substance charge carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Possession of a substance with intent to manufacture methamphetamine is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine and a methamphetamine-related crime involving children carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Chevalier and Laws have previous convictions for drug possession. Chevalier is being held in the Clearwater County Jail on a $150,000 conditional bond. Forsberg's criminal history includes assault and burglary. Forsberg, Laws and Poitra are being held on $75,000 conditional bonds. The Clearwater County Attorney's Office said each defendant is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

The Clearwater County Sheriff's Office, Bagley Police Department, Pine to Prairie and Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force participated in execution of the search warrant and investigation.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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