HASTINGS (WCCO) — The Dakota County Drug Task Force made a historic marijuana bust in Inver Grove Heights Wednesday — confiscating over 400 pounds of pot.

According to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, four people have been charged with felonies in connection to the pot bust: Scott Bradley Cunningham, 42, of Inver Grove Heights, 52-year-old Brian Lee Speldrick, Holly Joann Swenson, 28, of Rosemount and Jerilyn Reis, 41, of Kiester. They were all charged with first-degree controlled substance crime with intent to distribute and first-degree controlled substance crime with possession.

According to the criminal complaint, drug task force agents executed a search warrant at Cunningham’s house at 9244 Inver Grove Trail in Inver Grove Heights on Nov. 4, 2011. While there, agents recovered 14.42 pounds of marijuana. Several guns were also seized.

On Nov. 28, agents received a call from an anonymous tipster, who stated that agents missed a secret room during the previous pot bust. The tipster said the room, concealed by a false wall, contained a large amount of pot.

Agents then drafted a second search warrant and, on Nov. 30, executed the warrant. There, agents located the secret room in the lower level of the residence. Inside the room, agents discovered 72 30-gallon Rubbermaid containers filled with marijuana. The containers were stacked, in some cases, to the ceiling.

Authorities estimate the street value of the marijuana to be more than $1,000,000.

“This is one of the largest marijuana seizures in Dakota County’s history,” said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.

Last year, Dakota County Drug Task Force seized 47 pounds of marijuana for the entire year.

Neighbors who did not want to appear on camera told WCCO-TV they noticed a lot of cars coming to the Cunningham property and leaving after about five minutes.

Neighbors say they never would have imagined that Cunningham would be accused of this crime.
Backstrom saidhe does have information that the individuals involved were actually growing marijuana at another location in Goodhue County. So, he believes additional charges are likely.

Cunningham, Speldrick and Swenson appeared in court Friday, and a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Reis.

If convicted, the defendants could face seven to 30 years in prison per charge.

Comments (63)
  1. Ali says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of weed. Oh well next dealer will take there place. we lost the war on drugs long ago. The government should bag it and sell it. A million bucks would be good for MN right now.

    1. Dan says:

      I came on here to say just that! “Job opening!” I bet these thugs have a guess of how much weed is around us at any time? My guess is in Mn there are 50-thousand plus indoor grow rooms and 100-thousand plus people grow out doors in the summer? I bet there are thousands of pounds traveling in cars, trucks and planes in Mn at any given moment? And this “reporting” is pumping up a tiny lil 400 lbs!? LOL! Just think of what a fine paycheck these “Drug Task FORCE Thugs” take home!? Our Tax dollars at work! From the Federal Reserve to the Drug/Terror wars, it’s all such an insult and aggressive action towards our liberty. Our Constitutional Republic is in grave danger! The fact that people face a threat from a “Government” armed force for any “drug” is a clear measure of our lack of intelligence as a society. Thanks Ali for nailing the comments right outta the gate! 😉 FREE THE PEACEFUL! Ron Paul has said in an interview with Bill Mauer that he would as Pres’ pardon all non-violent prisoners of the drug war!

    2. hate the system says:

      I want to know why they would let ANYONE see this secret room besides the people that were involved, obviously someone they knew really close ratted them out. How sad, can’t trust anyone.

  2. Founding Fathers grew Hemp says:

    Prohibition. Expenditures rather than Income. What a waste of time and tax dollars.

    30 years for non-violent crime. Murder brings only 7 years.

    What’s wrong with this picture? It’s time that we bring some common sense to this knowing that Hemp and Pot can bring jobs, and again, INCOME!!!

    1. Dan says:

      The “income” of fiat currency in a fractional reserve banking system from legal cannabis hemp would never fund so much corruption from the lil street dealer, to the cop that busts him, to the clerk that works at the jail, to the jail guards, to the lawyers, to the judges, swat teams, CIA, resource wars around the world, banks laundering cash, destabilization, divide and conquer. Like the war on terror, the war on drugs isn’t meant to be “won”. The war on drugs and terror are meant to be sustained for profit and control. The war on drugs is working perfectly for many.

  3. TL the alligator says:

    i agree….what a waste of police resources and the real crime here is the law that keeps this substance illegal,,,and no i do not smoke or drink……obviously there is a snitch with inside information, i just wonder what did this person have to gain by ratting out the charged?…..eventually that person will be known if not already….i smell some payback in the air.

  4. Oi says:

    They allready produce jobs and income for law enforcement. We don’t need anything else that would legalize the further dumbing down of americans. What a dumba$$ Scott. SSP is proud…

    1. Legalize the Stuff says:

      Americans can’t get any dumber than they already are. Legalizing pot isn’t gonna make a bit of difference.

      1. Oi says:

        Really? You don’t get out much do you…

        1. Legalize the Stuff says:

          Your comment is ample proof of it.

        2. Oi says:

          Yeah, You’re right. I reread my comment after I sobered up a bit, and it is pretty dumb.


          1. Legalize the stuff says:

            I’m sorry as well. Big gay hug?

  5. elmo says:

    Well now we pay the $26,000 a year for these 4 people in prison for the next 20 years. Feed the Big Prison Industry. Too bad they couldn’t plea personal use. But I don’t see that, not with a informant telling the agents everything.

  6. blahblahblah says:

    Oi. Do you really think that law enforcement jobs in MN would seize to exist if pot busts like this were no longer taking place? The article stated that Dakota County only seized 47lbs last year. Obviously they can find other ways to occupy their time. You contradict yourself, because obviously pot isn’t needed to produce dumb Americans. Something else is contributing to your stupidity. Must be the gene pool.

    1. Oi says:

      Busy doing other things like tending to your 4th dwi in 2 years? Seize to exist…hahahahahah, blahblahblablah! What a tool. Take another hit… “Let’s see, it sounds like seas…no that doesn’t look right…seez to…damn, that’s not it either. Seize to exist. Honey does this look right to you? I’m gonna burn this guy with this one…’

      1. teabaghater says:

        blah blah your self you sound real informed

  7. okiedokie says:

    Legalize and tax……….There would be enough revenue to wipe out Meth and other serious problems. Instead, the cartels and gangs reap much of the profits.

  8. Ali says:

    Honest to God… I do not feel any safer that these people are locked up. And we say ..’oh we have to let the sex offender out early because of overcrowing.. ‘ FFgH is correct …”What’s wrong with this picture?”.
    Yep these guy could get good and drunk and kill someone with a car and only have to do 3 years max. They could do it again and only get 4 years. Gads you think that some people still think the old “reffer madness” movie was real and true.

    1. Ali says:

      PS. do not drink or smoke.

      1. elmojane says:

        Or Grow that herb

      2. teabaghater says:

        well i want to if you dont then dont dont tell me

  9. Jacky M says:

    Waste of time and money. Legalize and Tax it. Everyone knows the war on pot is a joke why dont our leaders ? Talk about being diconnected from the people.

  10. mk says:

    Trail Lawncare & Snow Service – Scott Cunningham owner, Guess he was good at it. His house was for sale for $849,000. What an idiot.

    1. teabaghater says:

      who cares legalize it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Is it Monday Yet? says:

    Just out of curiousity, does anyone know where they are storing this pot & how many people are guarding it…..just wondering…..Guns N Tanks and Riot Gas can’t keep me from Smoking Grass….whoa my fingers feel so large and my head, my head, my head, it’s so comfortably numb…..

    The above is a heavy pot user after using just one joint, do we really want to leagalize this stuff, I say no, not when you can get morphine with a doctors perscription.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      Don’t tell me I can’t have a steak because babies can’t chew it.

  12. Who needs a casino? says:

    Legalize it and tax it for the vikings stadium. Among other things. Talk about a surplus!

  13. maxey says:

    Bet Mark Dayton is there now taking a little inventory.

    1. teabaghater says:

      ha thats funny ha ha !!! we know your a re pub

  14. Esther says:

    I can’t believe people think we should legalize pot. Have you ever met a pot head? They are idiots. I have yet to meet anyone who functions better or have improved cognitive ability with the use of pot. Heck, I have fibromyalgia and I don’t even see the case of medical marijuana. There are plenty of alternative pain therapies that not only work, but improve your life. Pot does nothing but suck the life out of you.
    Maybe another dealer will take their place, but at least they are off the streets.

    1. And says:

      Idiot, they were never on the streets. 10 times more violent crime happens because of the use of alchol and thats legal! By the way my mother died of cancer, pain effects everyone differently, marijuana was one of the few the drugs that made my mothers death comfortable and technically she was breaking the law! Get a clue!

    2. kazperz says:

      Yea we’re horrid people, specially me go to school carry 3.5 gpa, work for a non-profit business that expanding rapidly and work at another business with rigional ties, but somehow i’m lazy and unproductive, you run into stuff i’ve helped with every day judgemental creep and i’m pretty sure i work harder then u do, oh yea i own my own home and car outright too no loans left on them. so why don’t u roll your wheelchair back into the corner and STFU

      1. Oi says:

        A 3.5 gpa, and you can’t even spell or compose a paragraph correctly?

        1. teabaghater says:

          who cares d**k you understood what they meant so is that all you got.

    3. teabaghater says:

      what would it mater to you alcohol is legal and more people are fed from that than all other drugs get a grip this is not going to effect ability to get it so it is a waste of the cops time what a joke you are get informed.

    4. Gary says:

      “Have you ever met a pot head? They are idiots. I have yet to meet anyone who functions better or have improved cognitive ability with the use of pot.”

      I totally agree! Pot is evil and makes people dumb! It’s not like all of those meaningful, rational and totally coherent conversations with drunk people who are slowing destroying their livers and getting behind the wheel putting their lives and other innocents in danger with a legal drug.

  15. Jake says:

    Good Job, coppers!!! Keep up the good work!!

    Just to let some of you know, most of the pot being grown and dealt and smoked today isn’t the same kind of ditchweed that was around in the 70’s and 80’s. This stuff is quite potent, if not laced with some other dope. It is far from being a ‘harmless’ drug.

    1. Mike says:

      Jake your ignorance is beyond contempt. Because marijuana has higher content does not make in more potent. It means, it takes less to get high. Anyone with any experience with marijuana will tell you that you can only get so high. It’s not like alcohol were 3 drinks or 12 drinks produces greater effect. If you smoke 1/2 a joint or 12, your only get so high. After 1 joint, anything beyond that will not make you higher, it will make you tired.

      1. Jake says:

        Great, so according to Mike, you can only get ‘so high’, then you get tired, perhaps really tired. That’s comforting to know that if legalized, we will have high AND tired drivers on our roads. How would you like airline pilots, semi drivers, train operators, cops and firefighters doing their jobs under this scenario?

    2. teabaghater says:

      its not laced with other stuff where did you get that bs people are not going to increase cost of product and if it is more potent smoke less legalize it

  16. And says:

    Wow I feel safe now!!!! What a waste of time, money and resources. Legalize it already.

    1. Oi says:

      And, go back to the previous comment and re-read it until you understand it. Leave Jake alone. He is right.

      1. teabaghater says:

        no he”s not!!

        1. Oi says:

          No, he’s not! Punctuation, my friend. That’s why you are unemployed, and we are right

  17. Andy says:

    You’re an idiot to jake

  18. JVF says:

    Drugs will never be legalized in this country. The CIA has a huge stream of untaxed income, there is no way they would give that up.

    Do you think I’m crazy? Guide your internet browser to expertwitnessradio.com and have your eyes opened by a decorated former undercover DEA agent who is now for legalization.

    1. EO says:

      Or look back to the 70’s/the contras/and the crack epidemic. Freeway Rick was the largest crack dealer in the country and his supplier was the cia. Before the cia started smuggling cocaine from Nicaragua it was way to expensive for any normal person to afford, after it was being sold at 10% the old price. Read “Dark Alliance” by Gary Web. Good book

  19. See BS says:

    Marijuana turns people into lazy communists who think you’re suppose to be paranoid about “Global Warming”.

    Marijuana is worse than Tobacco — so it’s good they are doing something about it.

    1. Oi says:

      See BS,
      You left out the point that potheads also feel the need to jump on any protest bandwagon just for any excuse to be able to utter the phrase “my freedoms under the constitution”. Excuses, excuses, excuses…That’s what pot does.

      Excelent point, though!

    2. teabaghater says:

      ok you sound very smart HA Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! take your repub garbage and shove it. get out of here with that communist stuff what a joke!

    3. insignificant says:

      seebs IS bs…you have no clue,eh?…thc ,a wonderful natural herb…i know many many very hard workers who use it,also creates intelligence above yer “evening adult cartoon ,or reality t.v. sit on their dufts every night” kinda folk…yer harder workers,yer more productive thinkers…usually use it…us users know global warming is a farce,eh? we know about Gore and other green people are scammers…AND we tend to be peaceful and treat people decently,no matter what status or race…

  20. Bud says:

    Use that to pay for a new stadium

  21. RD says:

    I know people who run their own multi million dollar businesses and smoke pot daily. I also know that many of the worlds best online poker players are pot heads and they appear to have amazing cognitive ability. I guess not all pot users are lazy and stupid.

    1. Oi says:

      Well that’s good news! You hear that kids? If you were ever thinking of becoming one of the worlds best online poker players, this epiphany should definitely inspire and motivate you!!! Fire up those blunts and let the games begin!!!

      1. teabag hater says:

        thats right why would you care if anybody smoke it doesnot matter and more people smoke than you think i am sure people you know do you just dont know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! alcohol is far worse but all of the smalll minds finally figured out you cant ban it pot is easier to get today than ever so what a waste of police time this guy will prob get more time than a rapist so you like that keep on feeding the gov. run prison industry

    2. insignificant says:

      very few are lazy ,60’s hippy ,protester types

  22. ron says:

    Perhaps we should just job out our prisons to the chinese. This way the criminals will not escape, the chinese will do it cheaper, the criminals will be geographically isolated from the states. If they misbehve the chinese will turn them into dog treats. This way the taxpayers will save money. Prisons will be a real deterrant and we dont have to listen to criminals whine that they dont get enough air conditioning in the summer…’

    1. Dan says:

      The Chinese know all about the centuries old war over drug resources. Ever hear of the opium wars in China? Ron, maybe reading a book called “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” by Jack Herer or watching a film called “American Drug War: The Last White Hope” by Kevin Booth will help you understand? I understand your anger . I would prefer we start a dialog about the thousands of years of history humans have successfully consumed cannabis for our spiritual and medicinal needs and the real reasons this useful plant is banned by the tyrannical banker controllers of the military industrial complex’s of the world. I can play into the anger and fear and wish people like you end up in some far off prison. I can fantasize about having my own “Army” of thugs and breaking into homes of people like you, shoot your dog, trash your home, put you in jail, CPS your children, take whatever I want….. Just because I don’t like that you support the Drug War of the currant dominating military force of the land or I don’t like that you have a bottle of wine in your home or I don’t like that your a Neo-Christian? Ya get my point? Peace and Love to you and yours.

      1. D says:

        good points Dan … land of the free , means freedom for all. Keep your laws outta my free time , and off my body. Go after real crimes and real criminals. Pot bust only hurt the economy. Time to flush the political toilet of the Gov’t , time for new blood, and fresh ideas in the political process. Enough of the career politians that sit on there lazy butts and dont do there jobs. They are out of touch with the people and reality, all while collecting large paychecks provided by tax payer dollars. What a waste and ineffective use of tax dollars. Decriminalize… and go after real crimes.

  23. yaaa boiiiiiiii says:

    wait…how many people have died from mairjuana??? oh ya… 0. just making sure.

  24. Chris Campbell says:

    I hate the police. Do these people really think they made the world or Minnesota safer? Not one bit. People are going to use regardless of the law or not. Scott was just one of the unfortunate ones to get caught but I can assure you there are hundreds if not thousands of these operations going on in Minnesota right now and it is steadily increasing. It’s never going to go away, and it shouldn’t, Weed is by far safer than any other drug out there including alcohol which can kill you. It is 100% impossible to die from smoking pot. Time to ease up and lift the prohibition on weed! You law enforcement agencies will never win. Only reason you fools continue to bust these non life threatening people is to put money in your own pocket. And then the media puts a spin on this garbage saying the law did a great job. How about focus on busting people with real drugs such and cocaine and heroin.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE