Published on April 2nd, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman0
West Duluth man arrested on meth charges
A Duluth man who police call a longtime problem was arraigned Monday on charges that he possessed methamphetamine with intent to sell.
Elfred William Petruk, 34, is charged in State District Court with a controlled substance crime in the first degree. Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Kristen Swanson filed a bail memo with the court stating that Petruk has five pending criminal cases filed against him. She also filed notice of her office’s intention to try Petruk as a career offender, which could lead to a 40-year prison sentence if he is convicted again and a jury finds he meets the criteria as a career offender.
To reach that finding, jurors would have to affirm that Petruk had five or more previous felony convictions and that the present offense was part of a pattern of criminal conduct.
The prosecutor asked the court to set bail at $100,000. Judge Sally Tarnowski granted the request with the new bail being added to the defendant’s former bail of $74,000.
Duluth police Sgt. Rodney Wilson of the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force said Petruk has been a known methamphetamine dealer in the Twin Ports with a prior federal conviction for selling meth.
“He’s been a longtime problem for us,” Wilson said. “Basically, this has been an ongoing investigation ever since he got out of prison and went back to his old ways.”
According to the criminal complaint: Investigators from the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force received information from a reliable confidential informant that Petruk was trafficking narcotics from his residence. Investigators executed a search warrant at Petruk’s basement apartment on the 400 block of North 51st Avenue West on Wednesday.
Among the items seized were three small digital scales commonly used for drug packaging, small ziplock-type baggies that were concealed inside of a sunglass case, three weather-proof black and white security cameras, and a television hooked up to outside security cameras.
A Minnesota State Patrol Trooper and his K9 partner searched outside the residence and the dog alerted the trooper to a crushed pop can in the yard. A paper towel was in the can. Inside the towel was 16.1 grams of methamphetamine. The quantity of the meth is considered by investigators to be in excess of a user amount and consistent with the intent to barter, deliver, exchange or distribute the drug.
According to police, Petruk has prior convictions for second-degree burglary, theft, tampering with a motor vehicle, fleeing police on foot, providing false information to police, disorderly conduct, possession of a firearm by a felon, distribution of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, third-degree assault, three fifth-degree assault convictions and illegal use of a police scanner in a motor vehicle.
Source: duluthnewstribune.com “West Duluth man arrested on meth charges,” April 1, 2013.