Two arrested in Wadena County for meth distribution

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Two people were arrested Thursday afternoon after an investigation into the sale and distribution of methamphetamine in the city of Wadena.

The arrests happened in a parking lot at M State - Wadena and was near Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary School.

Michael Edward Volpe, 39, of Wadena, was arrested for probable cause 1st degree sales of a controlled substance, 2nd degree sales of a controlled substance (school zone), 2nd degree possession of a controlled substance (school zone) and fleeing an officer on foot.

Also arrested was Barbara Jo Northway, 41, of rural Henning for probable cause conspiracy to commit 2nd degree sales of a controlled substance, two counts of 3rd degree controlled substance (school zone) and obstructing legal process. Both individuals were transported to the Wadena County Jail. This matter was sent to the Wadena County Attorney's Office for formal charges.

Northway was registered as a student at M State - Wadena. Peter Wielinski, Vice President of Student Development and Marketing, said the school was cooperating with law enforcement.

"One of those arrested was registered as a student but this is not a reflection of M State students," he said.

M State has a drug-free environment policy.

"Minnesota State Community and Technical College is committed to providing an environment free of alcohol and illegal drugs for its students, employees and visitors," the policy states. "Therefore, the college prohibits the unlawful possession, use, manufacture or distribution of controlled substances, including alcohol and illegal drugs, by students and employees on its property, in college or state-owned vehicles or as part of any of its activities."

The arrests came after an ongoing investigation of alleged methamphetamine sales and distribution. The Wadena County Sheriff's Office, agents with the West Central MN Drug and Violent Offenders Task Force and the Wadena Police Department were involved in the investigation.