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Published August 14, 2013, 08:58 AM

North Dakota state senator says he was unaware friend had pot

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota state senator who pleaded guilty to an alcohol-related driving charge says he was unaware that his passenger the night he was arrested possessed marijuana and two marijuana pipes.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota state senator who pleaded guilty to an alcohol-related driving charge says he was unaware that his passenger the night he was arrested possessed marijuana and two marijuana pipes.

Sen. Joe Miller, R-Park River, told the Grand Forks Herald that he does not smoke marijuana. Assistant Walsh County State's Attorney Kelley Cole said officers at the arrest scene June 21 saw no signs that Miller had been smoking marijuana and that the senator does not face any drug-related charges.

Miller, 30, said he was returning from a banquet in Fordville when he was stopped by a sheriff's deputy for speeding in his Ford Mustang at about 12:30 a.m. He pleaded guilty in July to speeding, having an open container of alcohol and being in actual physical control of a vehicle while over the legal blood-alcohol limit. He served a day in jail and paid $500 in fines.

His passenger, Mathew Dub, 30, of Park River, was arrested on drug and drug paraphernalia possession charges. He has pleaded not guilty to five misdemeanor counts and faces a Dec. 4 trial in Grafton.

"I don't smoke pot," Miller said. "I didn't know he had that on him."

Miller said he and Dub went to high school together and that Dub works on his farm.

Miller, who pleaded guilty in a 2007 incident to reckless driving and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, said he has completed a chemical dependency evaluation and a drunken driving seminar, and is holding firm to his earlier decision not to resign his state Senate seat.

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