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Published October 04, 2013, 05:25 PM

65-year-old charged in Roseau County drug bust

Roseau County law enforcement officers will be busy turning a crop of marijuana plants into pot. The investigation is still ongoing, she said as she announced Friday that she has charged Charles Emery Janzen, 65, with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

Roseau County law enforcement officers will be busy turning a crop of marijuana plants into pot.

It’s to determine the actual amount of controlled substance of the crop, which was seized from a rural home near Roosevelt, Minn., according to Karen Foss, Roseau County attorney.

The investigation is still ongoing, she said as she announced Friday that she has charged Charles Emery Janzen, 65, with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

The charge stems from a bust Sept. 20 at Janzen’s home in which a large team of local, state and federal officers seized 32 marijuana plants, $4,200 in cash and clothing.

The bust came from a tip to the Lake of the Woods County Sheriff’s Office from someone with knowledge of Janzen’s grow operation, Foss said.

The officers were led by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and included sheriff’s deputies from Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties, police from Roseau and Warroad, Minn., the State Patrol and the U.S. Border Patrol.

Roosevelt, with about 125 residents, straddles the border of Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties; Janzen’s property is in Roseau County.

He already had cut some of the plants and had them hanging to dry in outbuildings on his farmstead, where he lives with his wife. Other plants remained unharvested, scattered through the 120 acres of woods next to his home, Foss said.

Officers immediately hung the plants upside down in a law-enforcement storage space and will complete the drying and curing process as part of determining the actual amount of marijuana for consumer use and the street value, Foss said.

Asked if there were baggies or other indication that the pot was meant to be distributed, she said, “The only thing we could charge him with was possession.”

The single charge Janzen faces is a felony with a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The retired railroad worker has no criminal history, Foss said.

He has remained free under a court summons and is slated to appear Nov. 4 for his initial court hearing.

Foss said she does not expect to charge anyone else in the case.

Janzen’s wife works for the Warroad School District, Foss said.

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