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Man charged after over 40 lbs of marijuana allegedly found

A Rochester man under investigation for drug trafficking made his first appearance on Monday in Mower County District Court.

Jeffrey James Lawstuen, 46

Jeffrey James Lawstuen, 46, has been charged with felony second-degree drugs – sale of 10 kilos or more of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols, felony third-degree drugs – possess 10 kilos or more of marijuana – and felony fifth-degree drug possession. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

According to the court complaint, an investigator with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office observed Lawstuen driving a white van with a Wyoming license plate at about 1 a.m. on Oct. 9 in the City of Dexter. The investigator had been investigating Lawstuen for drug trafficking in southeast Minnesota since April 2020 and knew that Lawstuen was returning to Minnesota from the State of California. The investigator made contact with Lawstuen and detained him.

The cargo van was searched and law enforcement officers located and seized 42 vacuum sealed bags of marijuana (approximately 19 kilograms or 41.9 pounds), 1.15 grams of cocaine and $2,296 cash. Law enforcement also seized a device used to track law enforcement, an instrument used to detect electronic listening devices, a cell phone and a laptop computer.

A review of Lawstuen’s criminal record shows prior convictions for theft, theft of services, assault and drug possession.

A pre-trial for Lawstuen has been scheduled for April 9.