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Eden Valley man arrested, huge amount of stolen property located

LITCHFIELD -- A 51-year-old Eden Valley man was arrested Thursday morning by law enforcement on charges of drug possession and possessing vast quantities of stolen property.

According to Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin, Gerald Leroy Fleshman was arrested around 10 a.m. Tuesday during a traffic stop in Manannah Township. Officers found several grams of meth and drug paraphernalia during the arrest.

The arrest can after an investigation and the discovery of more than a thousand stolen items from multiple burglaries in Meeker County. The case remains as an active investigation.

According to Norlin, Fleshman is in the Meeker County Jail pending formal charges on multiple counts of possession of stolen property, felony narcotics violation, and felon in possession of a weapon. Fleshman has an extensive criminal history including burglary, theft, assault, and drug charges in and out of Minnesota dating to 1981.

Also on Tuesday, officers executed search warrant on a Manannah Township residence, where Fleshman was storing property, and found nearly 1,000 items. The items included hand and power tools, ATVs, trailers, chain saws, lawn mowers, generators, fishing equipment, construction equipment and boat motors. The items were seized, and all are believed to be stolen from multiple burglaries throughout the tri-county area. Several weapons were also seized. While executing this search warrant, investigators discovered more than 80 items stolen from storage sheds in Litchfield that were burglarized last weekend.

Investigators then obtained a second search warrant and executed it on Fleshman's Eden Valley residence, wherein hundreds of other stolen items were also obtained. In addition to these items, an urn with human remains along with a grandfather clock was seized that had been reported stolen from a residence in rural Eden Valley on June 18, 2010.

Meeker County law officers are working with the Stearns, Wright and Kandiyohi sheriff's offices, along with police from Eden Valley and Cold Spring on the case.