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Cottage Grove traffic stop results in drug arrest

A man picked up in Cottage Grove March 20 for driving without a license was charged with a drug crime after officers searched his vehicle and found a spoon with methamphetamine residue on it, according to the Washington County District Court Complaint.

An officer started following Lenert L. Johanson, 34, of White Bear Lake, after someone reported suspicious vehicles around the 7300 block of 99th Street in Cottage Grove at about 3 a.m. The caller reported seeing a full-sized conversion van and a car parked together with their lights on in the area, according to the complaint.

The officer began following the conversion van, ran the license plate number, and discovered that the registered owner of the car had a revoked driver's license and an active warrant. The officer pulled the van over. Johanson admitted to the officer he didn't have a driver's license, the court complaint says. The officer made arrangements to have the van towed, and did a search of the van, where officers found a clear plastic bong, tubing, a scale, Q-Tips, small plastic baggies, a glass pipe, a pair of metal tweezers and two metal spoons -- one with methamphetamine residue on it, according to the court complaint.

The officer arrested Johanson following the search, and he said the bongs were "supposed to have been burned," the court complaint says.

Johanson faces a charge of fifth-degree drug possession, which has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines if it is a second or subsequent controlled substance conviction. Johanson has previous convictions for possession of methamphetamine, according to court records. He also faces a charge of driving after revocation, for which the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and $1,000 in fines.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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