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Three Minnesotans have been charged following the seizure of almost 60 lbs. of drugs during a raid in southeast Minnesota.

Elliot Wilkens, 24, of Cannon Falls, and Red Wing residents Coby McKinley, 29, and Venus Marquez Melendez, 41, were arrested following a search warrant at a property in Rochester and of Wilkens' vehicle.

On Thursday, police from Mower County and Rochester conducted a search warrant on 100 block of 20th Street SE in Rochester, with police suspecting Wilkens was involved in a series of burglaries and thefts. 

Officers witnessed Wilkens leave the property at around 10:30 a.m. A traffic stop was made. Police found the following inside his vehicle:

  • An estimated 11.5 lbs. of cocaine
  • 1 lb. of methamphetamine
  • 7 lbs. of fentanyl
  • About 15 lbs. of marijuana

Wilkens admitted the drugs were his and made police aware of two others who also were in possession at the time. According to the complaint, Wilkens said McKinley and Melendez were staying at a nearby hotel and had a "large quantity" of drugs on them.

After Wilkens told authorities more about their location, police arrived at the hotel in northwest Rochester. Officers witnessed both McKinley and Melendez coming out of the hotel carrying bags and coolers to their vehicle. Both McKinley and Melendez were arrested in the parking lot. Melendez told police that a large amount of methamphetamine would be found inside the vehicle.

A search of the vehicle and the hotel room the two were staying at turned up 17 lbs. of cocaine and around 6 lbs. of methamphetamine.

Wilkens has been charged in Olmsted County Court with three counts of first-degree drug sale, three counts of first-degree drug possession, one count of third-degree drug possession and one count of fifth-degree drug possession. 

Coby McKinley, 29, and 41-year-old Venus Marquez Melendez each face two counts each of first-degree drug sale and first-degree drug possession.

Wilkens and McKinley made their first court appearances on Monday. Wilkens is being held on $500,000 bail, while McKinley is being held on $250,000 bail at the Olmsted County Jail. If convicted, they each could face a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. 

Melendez was brought into custody before being released on bail Monday. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 3.

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