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Buffalo Lake man faces charges for alleged meth lab

OLIVIA — A Buffalo Lake man with previous drug convictions is in the Renville County jail after agents with a drug task force seized from a closet in his basement bedroom what they allege are the chemicals and materials for making methamphetamine.

Felony charges of controlled substance in the second degree – subsequent offense, and possession of substances with intent to manufacture methamphetamine – subsequent offense, were filed Wednesday in Renville County against Brandon James Schroeder, 28.

He made his first appearance Thursday in District Court in Renville County. District Judge Randall Slieter set unconditional bail at $150,000 and set a $50,000 bail with conditions.   

Charges were also filed Wednesday by McLeod County alleging that Schroeder sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant on three different occasions, the most recent on Dec. 13 in Brownton. The McLeod County charges include two felony counts of controlled substance – second-degree sale.

The Renville County complaint alleges that agents with the Brown-Lyon-Redwood-Renville Drug Task Force on Friday breached the main door of the split-level residence where the defendant lives in Buffalo Lake. They took the defendant into custody.  

They entered a basement room that had numerous locks and latches, including a long pipe or bar that slid across the entire door, horizontally. They seized 10.8 grams of methamphetamine from the room, as well as pipes, water bongs, lighters and torches, a scale, a vase with liquid and a hose with a glass pipe connected, along with plastic baggies that tested positive for methamphetamine.

The complaint further alleges that they also entered a padlocked closet in the room, and seized from it an assortment of substances associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine, including white gas acids and alcohols. The chemicals were in boxes that also contained numerous glass jars and containers, multiple paper filters and hoses. Hot plates and numerous boxes full of matches were also found, the complaint alleges.

The McLeod County complaint alleges that a confidential defendant purchased methamphetamine from the defendant at his Buffalo Lake residence on Oct. 18 and Nov. 21. The informant also allegedly purchased methamphetamine from the defendant on Dec. 19 outside of the Lake Marion Supper Club in Brownton, the complaint alleges. The defendant allegedly took $240 from the informant and directed him to a stick in a snowbank, where a cigarette pack holding 2.7 grams of the drug was found.

Schroeder has previous controlled substance convictions in 2005 and 2011, according to the court records.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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