Weather Forecast

Close

Police bust meth dealers at a Duluth hotel

A sting operation at a Duluth hotel has resulted in the arrests of eight alleged Duluth-area methamphetamine dealers.

Duluth police and other law-enforcement agencies set up a confidential informant in the hotel to sell dealer-level quantities of meth and arrested the eight alleged buyers in a series of four separate busts between 12:30 p.m. and

8 p.m. Tuesday.

The suspects were arraigned in St. Louis County District Court in Virginia on Thursday. The arraignments took place there because the Duluth judges were attending a conference in St. Paul.

Duluth police Lt. Dan Chicos, commander of the drug and gang task force, said the suspects wanted to buy quantities of the drug that indicated they were planning to re-sell it.

He said the amount being purchased by the individual dealers ranged from a quarter-ounce to a full ounce of meth, which sells in Duluth for about $1,600 an ounce. He considered it a major bust because of the crime that surrounds drug dealing.

"Generally speaking, a lot of people traffic drugs to support their own habits, but more likely the reason is the profitability and more attractive lifestyle that comes with making the money from sales,'' Chicos said. "I maintain that with the drug trade comes all the residual crime, the crimes of violence and property crimes as people try to get money to buy drugs.''

Those charged are:

Justin John Kari, 29, first- and second-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

Julieann Geraldine Eckhart, 36, first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

Deliena Ruthann Lamberton, 27, first-degree aiding and abetting possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

John Allen Vos, 44, first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

Charlene Ann Vos, 46, first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

Walter Orrin Solberg, 41, first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

Curtis Harold Leske, 37, first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

Cynthia Adrienne Stangel, 40, first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

In addition to Duluth police, members of the Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were involved in the sting.

It was the second major bust of methamphetamine dealers in Duluth in two months. In October, 28 people from Duluth and the Twin Cities were arrested on federal indictments as the result of a sting operation conducted by the same agencies involved in this week's operation.

Advertisement