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16 arrested in Redwood County drug sweep

REDWOOD FALLS -- A joint task force of law enforcement agencies arrested 16 people in Redwood, Brown and Renville counties Thursday for felony level drug-related offenses in what many officials have called the most extensive and expensive undercover operation in Redwood County history.

According to a Redwood County Law Enforcement Center news release, the arrests were made after a year-long investigation by the following agencies: The Brown-Lyon-Redwood Drug Task Force; the Redwood, Brown and Lyon sheriff's offices; the Redwood Falls, Marshall and New Ulm police departments; the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The Feb. 25 and 26 arrests in Renville, Brown and Redwood counties were for sales of methamphetamine, cocaine, simulated controlled substances and marijuana.

"This operation and its results are evidence that we take illegal drugs seriously in this area," said Redwood County Sheriff Randy Hanson. "With this operation we are trying to send a message to those who chose to sell drugs. It is not a question of 'if' we catch you, but 'when.'"

The following were arrested and arraigned on drug charges in Redwood County District Court: Jeremy Leonar Larson, 31 of Owatonna; Candace Starr Norcross, 22, of Redwood Falls; Joseph Charles Evans, 18, of Redwood Falls; Kimberly Sue Berry, 29, of Morton; Elizabeth Michelle Gregg, 39, of Redwood Falls; Miguel Angel Martinez, 27, of Redwood Falls; Keith Eric Hoeffner, 38 of Redwood Falls; Shawn Jay Mace, 53, of Redwood Falls; Darren Keith Sam, 23, of Redwood Falls; Derrick Roy Jacobsen, 32, of Sleepy Eye; Nathaniel Lee Frietag, 23, of Jackson; Brandon David Rudenick, 25, of Morgan; Lonny Joseph Lamote, 41, of Morton; Charles NMN Columbus, 30, of Redwood Falls; Brent Michael Hildre, 19, of Andover; and James Robert Vizecky, 18, of Ramsey.