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Suspected pot seized in New Richmond raid

More than 20 suspected marijuana plants, along with another 3 pounds of pot, were confiscated last month after authorities raided a rural New Richmond home.

St. Croix County authorities said the plants were found drying inside a camper parked at Ryan K. Lefler's 95th Street home in the town of Richmond.

Prosecutors charged him Tuesday, April 4, with felony counts of manufacturing THC and THC possession with intent to deliver. He made his initial appearance in St. Croix County Circuit Court the following day, where Judge Eric Lundell ordered him to be released on a $2,000 signature bond.

St. Croix County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Scott Knudson said it wasn't clear where the plants came from and that there was no evidence that they were grown on the property. He said the case remains under investigation.

According to a criminal complaint:

St. Croix County sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant March 29 at 1787 95th St.

Officers encountered a relative of Lefler's, who was taken into custody at gunpoint. He was questioned, but not charged, in relation to the raid.

A search of a camper parked behind the house revealed plants hanging upside-down from strings that were labeled with corresponding marijuana strains. A test of a bud from one of the plants tested positive for THC, the active chemical in marijuana.

The camper search also turned up a garbage bag containing more than 7 ounces of suspected pot.

Additional pot seized in the search included a plastic tote containing 10 ounces of pot, as well as 18 vacuum-sealed bags each weighing about 1 ounce and a plastic bin with more than a pound of suspected marijuana.

The total weight of marijuana taken from the house weighed 3.74 pounds.

Lefler, who wasn't home at the time of the raid, turned himself in to authorities later that day, when he was booked and released from jail.

The case was set for an April 26 preliminary hearing.

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

(715) 426-1072
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