Two times in as many days, traffic stops in the Moorhead area led to major drug busts this week.
The State Patrol pulled over a car on Interstate 94 near Moorhead Tuesday because an officer noticed the vehicle had a cracked windshield and items hanging from the rear view mirror, Valley News Live reports.
Once the stop was made, the trooper was alerted by a K-9 partner to drugs in the car. The subsequent search turned up 15 grams of methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana, and 13 ounces of heroin, which Valley News says is worth an estimated $100,000.
The two women in the vehicle – Alisa Hardesty, 28, and Denitra Peterson, 24 – are both from Kalispell, Montana, the station says.
The Fargo Forum reports they've each been charged with one count of first-degree sale of narcotics and two counts of possession.
$250,000 worth of marijuana
In a separate case, a Moorhead police officer – also on I-94 – pulled over a car for speeding early Wednesday and found 27 pounds of marijuana inside.
KFGO says police found that most of the pot was high-grade marijuana and estimated the street value at nearly a quarter-million dollars.
A 29-year-old woman from Washington state was arrested in that case, KSTP reports.
According to Valley News Live, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is working with the State Patrol on the investigation of Hardesty and Peterson.
The Moorhead arrests are the latest evidence that the Red River Valley is on a flourishing drug trade route across the Upper Midwest.
In May, federal authorities announced the indictment of 41 people who are charged with operating a drug ring based on two northern Minnesota Ojibwe reservations.
Last week Dan Donlin, the police chief in Bismarck, North Dakota, filed an annual report on crime in that city and said drug crimes are increasing there year after year.
Donlin wrote "Where only eight to 10 years ago we were dealing with controlled buys of half-grams and grams, we are now dealing with ounces and pounds," the Bismarck Tribune reports.