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Drug task force finds 2 ounces of meth in 'man cave' in rural Renville County

An Anoka man has been charged with drug sale and possession after an early morning search at a home in rural Renville County. Authorities said they found nearly two ounces of methamphetamine on the premises.

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Wittkop

OLIVIA — A late-night, no-knock search yielded nearly two ounces of methamphetamine and led to first-degree drug charges against an Anoka man.

David Lawrence Wittkop, 38, made his first court appearance Wednesday in Renville County District Court. He was arrested after the CEE-VI Drug and Gang Task Force executed a search warrant at a rural Buffalo Lake address.

He faces felony charges of first-degree drug sale for selling 17 grams or more of meth in a 90-day period and first-degree drug possession for having 50 grams or more of meth.

Bail was set at $100,000 without conditions and $65,000 for release with conditions. His next court hearing is Dec. 4.

According to court records, task force agents served the warrant at 1 a.m. Nov. 25. The warrant specifically allowed the late hour and entry without knocking. It named Wittkop as a person expected to be there.

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Two other people were on the property and told authorities Wittkop had fled as the task force approached the property, according to the criminal complaint. Drones were used to find Wittkop, who was hiding in woods nearby.

During the search, agents found what they called a “man cave” in a shed on the property. They found methamphetamine in several places with a total weight of 55 grams, roughly two ounces.

The shed allegedly was equipped with a sophisticated surveillance system, electric and propane heaters, computers, laptops and cellphones. It also had a refrigerator full of food, and Wittkop’s ID card was found on a table. According to the description in the complaint, Wittkop’s first name was written and painted on the walls, according to the complaint.

The white substance that tested positive for methamphetamine was found on a mirror, in a number of small bags and in drawers. The search allegedly yielded tubing, pipes, a digital scale, baggies, packaging material, a vacuum sealer and nearly $5,000 in cash.

According to the complaint, Wittkop declined to be interviewed after he was arrested.

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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