Three men have been arrested and charged with multiple felonies after State Patrol troopers reportedly uncovered at least 30 pounds of meth in the vehicle they were driving.
James Winfred Timmons, 48, of St. Paul; Benjamin Reuben Krupp, 36, of Phoenix, Arizona; and Thomas Virgil Trumble, 60, of New Richmond, Wisconsin, were charged Thursday in Steele County District Court. Each man is charged with one count first-degree aggravated controlled substance, one count first-degree drug possession and one count of possessing a firearm/ammunition while prohibited, all felonies.
Krupp is facing an additional felony charge of first-degree drug possession.
The charges stem from a traffic stop that occurred Tuesday night on Interstate 35 near the Hope exit.
According to the criminal complaint, a trooper was on routine patrol observing northbound I-35 traffic at milepost 32 when he saw a vehicle hit the fog line. The vehicle and its occupants were under an active investigation for ongoing narcotics crimes, the complaint says, and the trooper initiated a traffic stop.
The trooper made contact with the driver, Trumble, who allegedly "appeared very nervous by speaking rapidly … constantly touching his face" and providing documentation that was not asked for. The front seat passenger, Timmons, reportedly told the trooper he had rented the vehicle and retrieved the rental agreement from the glove box.
Trumble told the trooper they were coming from Iowa, stating they had left the Twin Cities for Des Moines earlier that morning, according to the report. Trumble was allegedly having trouble forming sentences and would not make eye contact. When asked who the backseat passenger was, later identified as Krupp, Trumble reportedly said he did not know.
Timmons, however, told the trooper the men had been in Des Moines all weekend and decided to stay another day.
The trooper brought out the K9 unit to conduct a narcotics sniff, and the dog alerted to an odor he was trained to detect at the rear of the vehicle, according to court documents. The trooper then reportedly conducted a probable cause search and opened a bag that revealed a large plastic-wrapped bundle with a white crystalline substance suspected to be methamphetamine.
The three men were then arrested and transported to the Steele County Detention Center, while the vehicle was towed to the Minnesota Department of Transportation shop in Owatonna for a thorough search.
During a search of Trumble, the trooper reported located 2 grams of marijuana.
According to court records, the search uncovered 30 to 40 pounds of meth in various packages, a package of blue pills stamped "M30" that are commonly associated with fentanyl, four heat-sealed packages with black plastic covering the content which were suspected to be narcotics, 1 ounce of a substance suspected to be cocaine, 14 grams of marijuana, 1 gram of THC wax, 5 grams of meth inside a rubber glove and additional drug paraphernalia.
Law enforcement also located a .41-caliber revolver and two boxes of 9 mm handgun ammunition, according to the complaint.
Court records show all three men are ineligible to possess a firearm or ammunition based on previous criminal convictions. Krupp was convicted in 2016 for first-degree drug sale in Hennepin County, Timmons was convicted in 2011 for third-degree drug possession in Renville County and Trumble was convicted in 2004 for fifth-degree possession of meth in Ramsey County.
All three men are still in custody at the Steele County Detention Center. Bail without conditions for Trumble has been set at $500,000 and his next court appearance is scheduled for May 10. Bail without conditions for both Timmons and Krupp has been set at $750,000, and their next court appearance is scheduled for May 12.