Butler faces five years for possession of drugs

Samuel Zechariah Butler, 19, St. Cloud, was charged Sept. 13 with one felony count of fifth degree possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of driving after suspension.

On Sept. 12, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources had exited Highway 371 onto County Road 115 when he noticed a vehicle parked at the end of the exit ramp. There were three people in the vehicle and one of them was tossing garbage into the ditch.

As the officer approached the vehicle, the passengers allegedly became panicked. One person took off his jacket and threw it into the trunk of the vehicle. The vehicle then drove away at a high rate of speed.

With the assistance of the Minnesota State Patrol, the vehicle was later stopped and the driver was identified as Butler. The registered owner, in the back seat, gave permission to search the vehicle.

In the back seat was a briefcase which allegedly contained numerous glass pipes, some with a white residue consistent with methamphetamine and others with residue consistent with marijuana. Also located were some baggies containing a green leafy substance which appeared to be marijuana and others containing what appeared to be methamphetamine.

Butler allegedly acknowledged the briefcase contained drugs and that it belonged to him.

An examination of Butler’s driving record showed his driving privileges had been suspended.

If convicted, Butler faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.