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Alleged ringleader of $1 million Duluth marijuana growing operation arrested

Pot growing operation

Police today arrested the alleged ringleader of a widespread Northland marijuana-growing operation.

Donald Foote, 40, of rural Duluth was arrested just before 10 a.m. in the 1700 block of Jefferson Street in Duluth after being stopped by a University of Minnesota Duluth officer, said Brad Wick, Duluth police information officer. He had been sought since Friday by a joint force of seven area law enforcement authorities that raided several Northland marijuana-growing operations that day.

Foote was spotted by a teller at the Members Cooperative Credit Union, 215 N. 40th Ave. W. at 9:15 a.m., Wick said. Police were called and tellers tried to delay Foote, but he left before police arrived. A short time later, he was seen at the Hermantown Federal Credit Union, 2516 London Road. Police converged on the area. The UMD officer spotted Foote's vehicle on Jefferson Street and made a traffic stop.

The operation Foote allegedly led used $100,000 in equipment and produced pot with a street value of $1 million in St. Louis and Carlton counties, police said.

About 20 officers from seven law enforcement agencies conducted raids last week. One person was already has been charged: Craig Alan Modean, 34, of Barnum Township, for fifth-degree controlled substance. Police said at the time that more arrests were expected and more search warrants could be executed.

Foote was turned over to St. Louis County police, Wick said.