Area sees rise in criminal activity
Criminal activity has increased in Moose Lake, reported Moose Lake Police Chief Bryce Bogenholm to the Carlton County TRIAD at a meeting in Carlton on Wednesday, November 7.
“It’s the busiest I’ve seen,” Bogenholm said. “We have lots of felony theft cases and controlled drug cases. Methadone, in my opinion, should be an illegal drug. We are inundated with that. It’s still a drug; you can get high with it. Now they have opened up another clinic in Brainerd.”
Methadone is a legal drug used to treat drug addiction. The state subsidizes the clinics, Bogenholm said.
TRIAD is a group of senior citizens, law enforcement and community working together.
Terry Hill, Deputy Chief of the Cloquet Police Department, reported that his department has been busy with Native Mob gang crimes.
“There’s a drug pipeline that comes up I-35, and there is a lot of violence,” he said. “In my 23 years on the department, I don’t recall a time when I’ve seen so much assault with guns, homicides and senseless acts.”
Due to the arrest of 24 Native Mob gang members in January, other members are jockeying for position, said Hill.
“They have to commit an act of violence to be able to move up,” he added. “Killing a police officer is almost godly.”
Deputy Chief Hill explained that the department had recently lost its drug dog, Tessa.
“We have worked with the Cloquet City Council to purchase another dog, and it was approved at the last meeting,” he said. “We ordered the dog from overseas. A cost of a trained dog is $7,000.”
The department is in the process of raising funds by selling T-shirts with a photo of Tessa.
“A drug dog is a valuable tool,” said Bogenholm. “The handler has to go through extensive training and be recertified periodically.”
A motion was passed to contribute $250 to the fund to purchase another dog.
Bath salts, also known as synthetic marijuana, has been a problem in Moose Lake, reported Bogenholm.
“We had a call last weekend from the hospital,” he added. “A guy that was high on bath salts was flipping out. You never know what they put in them.”
Hill added that an officer in his department had to taze a man several times; he was out of his mind because of the illegal drug.
Bogenholm explained that bath salts aren’t really like the bath salts that one can buy for using in bathing.
“It’s a fine crystal white powder,” he explained. “It’s not really bath salts; they probably use that name so they can sell it. We had some and thought it was cocaine at first.”
It was reported that Colorado and Washington had legalized marijuana for recreational use in the election.
In a question and answer session, Hill answered a question about reading the fine print on agreements online. He said that he recently subscribed to an anti-virus program, and read that the subscription will be automatically renewed every year unless he cancels it.
Purchasing the subscription is often at a reduced rate. Renewals are at the full price, it was pointed out by a person in the group.
In answer to a question about the status of the arrests of the "change bandit" that had broken into the change machine at Mercy Hospital and a man that had stolen a car in Moose Lake, Bogenholm said that applications for warrants were still in the county attorney’s office.
He said that, once a warrant is issued, it will be on the person’s record. If the person is arrested for another crime those warrants will be served.
The group members were advised to call 911 if they see a vehicle driving erratically.
“If you call our dispatch center about an accident, they will transfer you to the state patrol,” said Bogenholm. “Don’t hesitate if you think a driver is impaired. We would rather have a tired driver reported than not get a call.”
The next meeting of the Carlton County TRIAD is set for Wednesday, December 5, at 10 a.m. at the Fond du Lac Tribal Center at 1720 Big Lake Road near Cloquet. Senior citizens and community members are encouraged to attend.