A months-long investigation has two men facing serious drug charges after Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force agents reportedly seized nearly 160 pounds of marijuana edibles and products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Trenton William Marks, 26, of Tonka Bay, and Charles Dean Medgaarden, 33, of Faribault, were charged May 28 in Rice County District Court with selling 5 kilos (11 pounds) or more of marijuana or THC products.

Court documents state agents were investigating a multi-state drug trafficking organization between September 2019 and February 2020, identifying several people involved and executing search warrants, including for property belonging to Marks, who was allegedly “trafficking large amounts of controlled substances into the state of Minnesota and distributing these drugs within the state.”

In November 2019, agents obtained a warrant allowing agents to place a GPS tracking device on a vehicle belonging to Marks. That device reportedly showed the vehicle was traveling to several Twin Cities locations and other places the investigation identified as targets.

Court documents state a search of a Hopkins storage locker belonging to Marks yielded five totes containing a combined 68½ pounds of product, a majority being edible THC items packaged in wrappers described as being attractive to youth. The street value of one tote with slightly over 5 pounds of marijuana wax was estimated at approximately $117,350. Another tote containing nearly 300 grams of THC cartridges had an estimated street value of approximately $11,900.

A February 2020 search of Marks’ home reportedly netted a plastic baggie with 114.58 grams of THC gummies. In the kitchen of the house, 18.35 grams of marijuana and 40.82 grams of THC edibles were found.

Court documents state a forensic search of a phone belonging to Marks found he was tracking a 47-pound package from New York to an address identified on a cardboard box lid in his vehicle through a search warrant. On Feb. 13, 2020, agents executed a search warrant on two packages weighing 89 pounds total with an estimated street value of nearly $31,500 and containing THC products sent to an address across the street from Medgaarden’s residence. A search of Medgaarden’s residence reportedly netted 49.38 grams of marijuana, approximately 196 grams of THC oil in cartridges and a litany of other items.

Investigators interviewed Marks, who reportedly admitted he possessed approximately a half-ounce of marijuana in his house along with one packet of THC edibles. He allegedly initially told investigators he sold Minnesota-grown CBD for a living but denied selling marijuana or edibles. He reportedly later admitted knowing that agents had searched his storage shed and told an agent he wanted to cooperate with the investigation. He provided information on the Minnesota and California residents he was purchasing large quantities of marijuana and THC concentrates from. He said Medgaarden had been his employee and didn’t want him charged in the case.

Medgaarden is also facing one count of fifth-degree drugs sale.

Marks and Medgaarden are scheduled to make their first appearances July 21. Medgaarden has a half dozen felony convictions on his record, including one in 2018 for second-degree drug sale in Pine County. He was on probation at the time of the investigation.

Reach Associate Editor Sam Wilmes at 507-645-1115. © Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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