Wednesday's $33K cash seizure is Mitchell's largest in 20 years
Last week's drug bust south of Dry Run Creek Park in Mitchell led to the town's largest cash seizure in more than 20 years. On Aug. 10, Mitchell police searched the residence of Jordan Muntefering, 26, and Kaitlin Minder, 23, at 212 W. Elm St., l...
Last week's drug bust south of Dry Run Creek Park in Mitchell led to the town's largest cash seizure in more than 20 years.
On Aug. 10, Mitchell police searched the residence of Jordan Muntefering, 26, and Kaitlin Minder, 23, at 212 W. Elm St., less than 1,000 feet from both Dry Run Creek Park and the Abbott House, which are both considered drug-free zones.
According to authorities, police found 1.76 ounces of a substance believed to be methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as MDMA or ecstasy, along with five grams of a substance believed to be cocaine, a quarter-pound of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and $33,212 in cash, $31,000 of which was found in a wall-mounted safe disguised as a furnace vent.
"As far as cash seizures go, this case is probably the largest cash seizure that the Mitchell police department's had in over 20 years," said Mitchell Police Lt. Don Everson.
Everson said police confiscate drugs every day, but money is seized less frequently. According to South Dakota codified law, law enforcement may confiscate all controlled drugs and substances and marijuana, as well as materials, equipment, vehicles, books and records used or intended to be used for processing, transporting or holding drugs.
Any assets, interest, profits, income or proceeds acquired from such a drug purchase or distribution are also subject to forfeiture, but Everson said Mitchell police seize vehicles more frequently than large amounts of cash.
As far as the drugs, Everson said he isn't surprised to hear about ecstasy in town.
"Virtually every illegal drug that's in any place else in the country is seen here," Everson said. "It wasn't surprising we found it. It was surprising we found that much of it."
According to the United States National Library of Medicine, the typical dosage of MDMA for recreational use is between 50 and 150 milligrams, meaning the drugs seized could provide nearly 1,000 doses of ecstasy,
The seizure came about as a result of a probation search. In May 2010, Muntefering was sentenced to 10 years in prison, all suspended, and was placed on probation for 10 years for second-degree arson in Hutchinson County.
As a term of his probation, Muntefering is required to submit to the warrantless search and seizure of his person, property or residence as directed by law enforcement.
It is unknown what led to the probation search, but when Muntefering saw law enforcement arrive at the residence, he did not open the door, court documents state, leading police to believe he was "going to destroy evidence," according to court documents.
An officer entered the house from the back door and could "hear a banging sound coming from the basement," court documents state, which the officer believed was related to Muntefering trying to hide evidence. He located Minder at the back door and called for Munterfering to come out, to which he complied.
Along with the drugs, police allegedly found a marijuana bong, plastic bags, a scale and an "owe" sheet.
Muntefering and Minder were charged with possession of methamphetamine and cocaine with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute in a drug-free zone, Class 4 felonies, punishable upon conviction by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine; possession of methamphetamine and cocaine and possession of between 1 ounce and one-half pound of marijuana with intent to distribute, Class 5 felonies, punishable upon conviction by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine; possession of between 2 ounces and one-half pound of marijuana, a Class 6 felony, punishable upon conviction by up to two years in prison and a $4,000 fine; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Muntefering also faces a charge of violating probation in Hutchinson County after his arrest. Minder has been released after paying a $2,000 bond. Bond for Muntefering was set at $10,000.
The accusations are not the first drug charges for Munterfering, who was sentenced in December 2008 to two years in prison, all suspended, and placed on probation for three years for distribution or possession with intent to distribute marijuana to a minor.
Minder and Muntefering recently received approval from the city of Mitchell to renovate the former Zesto restaurant on Sanborn Boulevard with the intention of operating a new restaurant called Hungry Dog. The former Zesto building is currently under construction, and Minder told The Daily Republic in June that she and her fiance, Muntefering, intended to serve locally-sourced hot dogs as the primary menu item at the new restaurant. They intended to open the restaurant in mid-September or October.