Deputies in northern Minnesota found 18 pounds of meth inside what looked to be a wrapped Christmas present during a traffic stop on December 23.
According to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, their deputies — along with Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force (PBTF) agents — discovered the drugs after they pulled over a black Chevrolet SUV on U.S. Highway 71 South.
The driver, 35-year-old Kenneth Triplett, had a warrant issued for his arrest.
Upon searching the vehicle, deputies discovered a cardboard box decorated as a Christmas present in the cargo area that contained 8,138 grams — or 18 pounds — of methamphetamine, along with 3 ounces of cocaine. The street value of the drugs is roughly $650,000, according to the Minnesota BCA’s Fusion Center 2022 Minnesota Drug Price List.
Deputies also executed a search of Triplett’s residence and seized two firearms and additional items.
According to the PBTF, agents have seized more than 25,000 grams of methamphetamine so far this year, marking a 12,500% increase over the past 10 years.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Bemidji Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol also assisted in the investigation.
Authorities say the investigation is ongoing into what they suspect is a case of controlled substance trafficking.