An Owatonna man whose failure to buckle up attracted the attention of a Faribault police officer and landed him in the Rice County jail, has been charged with a pair of drug crimes.

Matthew Richard Steinberg, 34, was charged Wednesday with first-degree meth sale and third-degree possession following a Tuesday traffic stop. An officer reportedly stopped the vehicle Steinberg was riding in after recognizing the driver as having a suspended license.

While speaking with the driver, the officer reported that Steinberg not only wasn’t wearing a seat belt, he had a backpack between his legs and appeared nervous; his hands shook and his eyes darted around the vehicle. A check on Steinberg revealed he was wanted in Rice County for an alleged probation violation following a 2019 DWI conviction.

The officer, about to leave the scene for a higher priority call, decided to remain and enforce the warrant. Following Steinberg’s arrest, an officer reportedly found $253 in Steinberg’s front pants pocket. His backpack, which he took out of the car reportedly contained a small amount of marijuana, an orange needle cap, a cut straw with white residue, several hypodermic needles — one filled — a broken meth pipe, a scale with a white crystals on it and a 22.28 grams (¾ of an ounce) of a white crystallized substance which tested positive for methamphetamine.

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