Jason Roger Nyberg, 35, Villard, was charged Dec. 17 in Morrison County District Court with one felony count each of second degree possession of a controlled substance and fourth degree assaulting a peace officer. He was also charged with one gross misdemeanor for obstructing legal process with force and one misdemeanor for fleeing a peace officer.
On Dec. 14, Little Falls police officers were dispatched to the Little Falls Walmart store with a report of alleged shoplifting. When they arrived, a male appearing nervous and a female were near the checkout area. After the woman paid for her purchase, Walmart personnel told the officer the two were suspects in the alleged shoplifting. As they were leaving, the theft alarms went off, but it was later learned a hidden sensor in the woman’s purchase caused the alarm to activate.
When Nyberg was identified, it was learned he was allegedly incarcerated.
Nyberg said he had been released two months earlier.
Nyberg asked to leave the store when it was learned the woman’s package had been paid for, but the officer said he was being detained until questions concerning his incarceration status could be sorted out.
When Morrison County Dispatch advised the officer that Nyberg was a predatory offender and was out of compliance with his address, Nyberg allegedly told the officer he had listed his current address with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). He gave that address to the officer and the two parties were able to leave.
A few moments later, the officer received a report that the BCA requested Nyberg be detained until his registration was compliant. The officer spoke to Nyberg in the Walmart parking lot and asked him to come back into the store. The officer also asked another police officer to bring to the store appropriate forms for Nyberg to fill out.
While in the store, Nyberg asked to use the bathroom. After leaving the bathroom, the officer noted a plastic bag with a white or light-colored substance inside. It was laying between the bathroom and the entrance to Walmart.
Nyberg allegedly said he didn’t know anything about the bag. He was then told he could not leave until surveillance footage from the area was viewed.
Nyberg sat down, but then jumped up and ran toward the exit. The officer yelled for him to stop, but the demand was ignored.
When the officer caught up with Nyberg, they both fell to the ground and a struggle ensued. When another officer arrived, Nyberg was handcuffed. He again struggled and allegedly said he would beat up the officer.
According to the criminal complaint, Nyberg had to be pulled and dragged to the squad car.
In the surveillance video, the officer was able to see the plastic bag containing the alleged controlled substance fall out of Nyberg’s pocket. It remained untouched until the two returned from the bathroom. The substance tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed 7.9 grams.
If convicted, Nyberg faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and/or a $500,000 fine.