A package intercepted at a Faribault UPS warehouse reportedly containing nearly 28 grams of methamphetamine has led to a felony drug charge against a Waterville man.
Derek Michael Stoering, 34, is charged with one count of second-degree meth possession in Rice County District Court.
Court documents state Stoering was charged after Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force agents were contacted by a Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport Police Department detective Friday on a report that warehouse employees had intercepted a suspicious package containing suspected meth. The package was reportedly addressed to Stoering’s Waterville address, but the location was non-existent within the city.
Three days later, Stoering reportedly agreed to pick up his package at the warehouse late Monday morning. After Stoering allegedly signed for the package, he was arrested and taken into custody.
Court documents state Stoering initially said the package was a screen protector purchased on eBay, but moments later admitted he knew it contained meth. He reportedly admitted to purchasing 1 ounce of meth for $300 using Bitcoin via “the dark web,” court documents state.
Judge Karie M. Anderson set conditional bail for Stoering at $10,000 Tuesday, contingent on him not possessing drugs or alcohol, submitting to random searches, remaining law-abiding and following other requirements. Stoering’s next scheduled appearance is scheduled for Nov. 25. As of Tuesday, Stoering was in custody.
Task Force Cmdr. Paul LaRoche said though he doesn’t see many similar cases, the dark web is a previously unavailable source for some drug traffickers. In noting that drugs being trafficked through the mail can be harder for law enforcement to track, LaRoche added postal workers do a good job of alerting law enforcement when they see suspicious-looking packages.
CORRECTION: A previous edition of this story misstated the amount of drugs found. The amount was 28 grams.