On November 21, 34-year-old Kimberly Norton of Askov (formerly of Hinckley) was pulled over for speeding as she headed east on Interstate 94 in West Fargo, North Dakota. She was clocked doing 63 mph in a 55 mph zone.
According to a press release, during the traffic stop West Fargo K9 officer, Disco, alerted on the vehicle, giving the officers probable cause to search the vehicle. During the search police found 286 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated street value of $1,370,000 in the vehicle.
Norton said she had purchased the marijuana “out west” and was “heading home” with it.
The amount is somewhat unusual, stated Pine County Sheriff Jeff Nelson. Sgt. Gustafson of the West Fargo police department said this is a record for their department; the previous record was 125 pounds of marijuana, among other items seized in September.
Nelson added the fact that drugs are transported into this county is nothing new. “It is, unfortunately, fair to say there are drugs being transported through the county daily,” Nelson said. “This was one of the reasons we got the K9 program back in service. It is also one of the reasons to maintain good working relationships with other agencies so we can work together and share information.”
Local properties have been involved in the manufacturing of various drugs, Nelson added, but the majority of them are imported. “Interestingly, several of the local manufacturers that we have arrested tend to sell out of the county,” said Nelson. “Perhaps the thought is that they would draw less attention or afraid of being ripped off if the manufacturing location was known.”
The West Fargo Police Department, North Dakota Highway Patrol and Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office were all involved in the stop.
Norton was taken to the Cass County Jail and is being charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, which is a Class B felony. She is facing a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
Norton has had 12 criminal charges against her in Minnesota, but 11 of them were for minor driving violations. One was for possession of drugs. The last charge against her was eight years ago.