Three Dakota County residents and one from Faribault County are facing felony drug charges after an Inver Grove Heights drug bust that netted almost 400 pounds of marijuana.
Those charged are Scott Bradley Cunningham, 42, of Inver Grove Heights; Holly Joann Swenson, 28, of Rosemount; Brian Lee Speldrick, 52, of Inver Grove Heights; and Jerilyn Reis, 41, of Kiester, Minn. Police have issued a warrant for Reis, who has not yet been apprehended.
All four are charged with first-degree drug possession with intent to distribute and first-degree drug possession, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Cunningham, Swenson and Speldrick remained in the Dakota County Jail Friday, Cunningham and Speldrick on $500,000 bonds and Swenson on a $250,000 bond. All have omnibus hearings scheduled for Dec. 19 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings. Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom estimated the street value of the drugs at more than $1 million.
According to the criminal complaints, agents with the Dakota County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at Cunningham’s home in the 9200 block of Inver Grove Trail on Nov. 4. When agents knocked on the door, they found about a dozen juveniles, who told them that neither “Scott” nor any other adult was home.
Police checked a garage on the property and found Reis, who told them that she and her boyfriend, Speldrick, had been in the garage. She told agents she didn’t know what was going on in the house, according to the complaints.
During the search, agents contacted Cunningham by phone, and he returned home. He declined to make a statement.
In the Nov. 4 search, agents found a number of marijuana plants, tubs and other containers holding large quantities of marijuana, assorted drug paraphernalia, at least six firearms and ammunition, and documents identifying Cunningham, Swenson, Speldrick and Reis.
The amount of marijuana seized during the initial raid totaled almost 14.5 pounds.
On Nov. 28, task force agents received an anonymous tip that during the Nov. 4 search, they had failed to find a room concealed by a false wall, which the tipster said contained a large amount of marijuana.
The tipster described the secret room as a “dirty animal room,” and agents recalled seeing a room on Nov. 4 that contained a number of cats, according to the complaints.
Task force agents obtained another search warrant and returned to Cunningham’s home on the morning of Nov. 30. Agents found Cunningham and Swenson inside the home and Speldrick in the garage.
Officers located a pegboard in the home’s lower level and found a secret doorway leading to the hidden room. “Inside the room were 30-gallon Rubbermaid containers, stacked in some cases to the ceiling, filled with suspected marijuana,” the complaints say.
During the second search, agents seized 72 large containers filled with marijuana plants, more drug paraphernalia, $4,448 in cash and another shotgun near a safe in the secret room. They also seized a bowling trophy and a class ring belonging to Cunningham.
Task force agents stripped the stalks and seeds from the marijuana plants found in the Rubbermaid containers and found that it weighed 376.7 pounds. The total weight of marijuana seized from Cunningham’s home during both raids was 391.19 pounds, according to the complaints.