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Charges: Broke-down motorist had meth in car

Man previously served prison time on drug conviction

A suspected methamphetamine dealer was charged with multiple felonies last week after sheriff’s deputies found drugs in his vehicle while helping him with car problems.

St. Croix County prosecutors charged New Richmond resident Jon K. Hirt Jr. with four drug-related felonies, including meth possession with intent to deliver and possession of narcotic drugs.

The 28-year-old also faces two misdemeanor drug-related charges.

Hirt was held on a $10,000 cash bond at a July 18 court hearing.

According to a criminal complaint:

A St. Croix County sheriff’s deputy on patrol July 15 spotted a car with its hood up in the 1600 block of 200th Avenue in the town of Stanton. The deputy walked up to the car and found Hirt sitting in the driver’s seat; he immediately handed over his ID without provocation and told the officer he was waiting for friends to come help him with his overheated car.

The deputy checked the car’s registration, which was listed to someone else. Asked about the ownership situation, Hirt said he bought the car the previous day.

Hirt then asked the deputy if he knew anything about vehicles. The officer said he didn’t. They then looked under the hood, hoping to find the source of the problem. Hirt and the officer worked extensively, going through the car’s cooling system and oil levels.

While Hirt and the officer continued to check under the hood, two more deputies arrived on the scene to help.

One of those deputies looked into the car’s open window and saw a green, leafy plant near the door handle. More leaves were seen on the floor. The deputy — a K-9 officer — suspected he was looking at marijuana and brought his police dog out to sniff the situation.

Hirt then began to record the scene with his phone.

The dog’s search turned up a camera case containing 28 grams of suspected meth. Hirt was cuffed and arrested.

The search also revealed digital scale containing suspected meth residue, a pill and drug paraphernalia.

Online court records show Hirt was sentenced to 15 months in prison and two years on extended supervision following a 2013 conviction in St. Croix County for meth possession.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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