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Warrant stayed in Douglas County felony drug case

Baird William Miltich failed to appear for a Rule 8 hearing in Douglas County District Court on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

EP Court News
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ALEXANDRIA — A warrant may be issued in the case of a man charged with possessing almost two pounds of marijuana.

Baird William Miltich, 38, of Pelican Rapids, failed to appear for a Rule 8 hearing in Douglas County District Court on Wednesday, Jan. 11. A warrant for his arrest has been stayed for seven days, and will be issued if Miltich does not sign a promise to appear within that time.

Miltich has been charged with a felony third degree controlled substance crime and two felony fifth degree controlled substance crimes.

The maximum sentence for the first charge is 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, and the maximum sentence for the latter charges is five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

The charges stem from an incident in which Mitich was allegedly at the Holiday gas station on Dec. 27. According to the statement of probable cause, Miltich was threatening employees and would not leave.

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Officers found Miltich's vehicle in a nearby parking lot, at which time a female passenger told them that there was marijuana in the vehicle and the trunk, the statement read.

The woman stated none of the marijuana belonged to her, and all the drugs and related items in the vehicle belonged to Miltich, the statement read.

While he was being placed under arrest, Miltich was quoted as saying, "It is my right to have that cannabis," the statement read.

Among the items found in his car were 14.8 grams of cocaine, several containers of marijuana wax, 1.9 pounds of unburnt green, leafy marijuana, a small vial of methamphetamine, a bong, more than 100 THC cartridges and miscellaneous bags used to hold marijuana, marijuana cartridges and edibles, the statement read.

Zhana Gunderson

An omnibus hearing was held in the case of a woman charged with wrongfully obtaining more than $20,000 from various public assistance programs. The hearing took place via Zoom at the Douglas County District Court on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

Zhana Jeannet Gunderson, 38, of Alexandria, is charged with felony wrongfully obtaining public assistance and felony perjury. The maximum sentence for the first charge is 10 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine, and the maximum sentence for the second charge is five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

According to the statement of probable cause, Gunderson allegedly obtained a total of $20,333.82 in fraudulent public assistance benefits between January 2017 and July 2021.

"The Defendant continually acknowledged the fact that she was aware that she would be subject to prosecution for fraud and/or perjury if she provided false information on her application forms and documents," the statement read.

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Draven Manard

Bail has been posted in the case of a man charged with felony solicitation of a child to engage in sexual contact.

Draven James Manard, 26, of Alexandria, posted $400 cash bail with conditions on Jan. 3.

According to the statement of probable cause, Manard allegedly asked an 11-year-old girl to expose herself to him.

The maximum sentence for Manard's charge is five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

His next court hearing is scheduled to take place on April 19.

James O'Neil

Bail has been posted in the case of a Starbuck man charged with a felony controlled substance crime in the first degree and a felony fifth degree controlled substance crime.

James Michael O'Neil, 42, of Starbuck, was pulled over on Jan. 2 in Douglas County when a deputy observed that O'Neil's vehicle appeared to have a window tint that exceeded the maximum allowed by Minnesota law, the statement of probable cause read.

The deputy smelled marijuana during the stop, and the vehicle was later allegedly found to contain 58.7 grams of methamphetamine inclusive of packaging, 136.7 grams of marijuana in multiple containers and 6.7 grams of a rock substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine, the statement read.

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Cash bail was posted in the amount of $6,000 with conditions in Douglas County District Court on Jan. 9.

The maximum sentence for O'Neil's first degree charge is 30 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine, and the maximum sentence for his fifth degree charge is five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

O'Neil's next scheduled court appearance is set for Jan. 18.

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
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