A man believed to be dealing large quantities of marijuana and found with more than 23 pounds of marijuana and related products has been charged in a pair of Rice County cases, according to court documents.

Charles Michael Eltonga, 40, of Northfield, was charged last week with a total of five felonies for sale and possession of marijuana, marijuana concentrates, edibles and other products containing tetrahydrocannabinol/THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. The charges are a result of an investigation by the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force, which identified him as a “multi-pound dealer.”

On Friday, Task Force Commander Paul LaRoche estimated that the drugs and other products confiscated from Eltonga his two area residences would worth about $57,500, though LaRoche admitted that’s a conservative figure.

Agents executed several search warrants Sept. 10 after reportedly watching Eltonga drive around Northfield, stop at an apartment building and walk toward it carrying a large bag, briefcase and box. Inside the bags, agents reportedly found several large packages of marijuana, a plastic bag containing about 12 grams of psilocybin mushrooms and four jars filled with a concentrate used to make marijuana edibles. Inside the briefcase and box, agents reportedly located paraphernalia, marijuana wax and edibles.

Inside an apartment in the building, which Eltonga reportedly told agents he was renting, agents say they discovered additional controlled substances, paraphernalia, evidence of drug sales and an enclosure with a ventilation fan hooked to the window that agents believe was used to grow marijuana. Agents allegedly found three large bags of marijuana, as well as several smaller bags inside the enclosure and THC edibles in the apartment’s kitchen freezer.

During a search of Eltonga’s residence west of Northfield, agents located more controlled substances as well as other evidence of drug dealing: multiple containers of marijuana, marijuana wax and wax residue; heat-sealed bags with marijuana and marijuana residue; additional quantities of marijuana edibles and gummies; $1,610 in cash and a money counting machine.

Eltonga was taken into custody Oct. 13 in Rice County after agents followed him from Mankato, where he made several short stops reportedly consistent with drug deals.

According to court documents, agents immediately noticed the odor of marijuana coming from Eltonga’s vehicle. Agents searched the vehicle, reportedly finding 66.66 grams of THC gummies as well as $1,081 in cash.

Judge Jeffrey Johnson set Eltonga’s bail at $50,000 with no conditions. His next appearance in court is set for Dec. 16.

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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