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Published August 28, 2013, 10:51 AM

Major Fargo heroin seizure leads to arrest of alleged carjacking victim

FARGO – A man who reported being carjacked by three people last week in south Fargo was arrested Tuesday night in connection with what Fargo police are describing as the city’s largest heroin seizure in recent memory.

By: Mike Nowatzki, INFORUM, Mike Nowatzki, INFORUM

FARGO – A man who reported being carjacked by three people last week in south Fargo was arrested Tuesday night in connection with what Fargo police are describing as the city’s largest heroin seizure in recent memory.

The seizure of 12 grams of white powdered heroin came about as a result of the carjacking investigation and a joint narcotics investigation with the Moorhead Police Department, Fargo police Lt. Joel Vettel said.

“We haven’t seen anything close to this in the last decade as far as this large of a seizure,” he said.

Through their investigation, police gathered information that led them to identify a vehicle believed to be involved in illegal drug distribution, Vettel said.

The vehicle, a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse that Vettel said is registered to the alleged carjacking victim, Wyatt Cullen Brown, was located Tuesdaynight at Brown’s workplace in the 3500 block of Interstate Boulevard.

A police dog sniffed the car and alerted to the presence of drugs, which led to a warranted search that yielded heroin, the prescription drug hydromorphone, a digital scale and $1,300 cash, Vettel said.

Brown, 21, who has Fargo and Moorhead addresses, was arrested at about 10:30 p.m. on suspicion of heroin possession with intent to distribute and possession of a Schedule II narcotic, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, Vettel said. Brown did not have a prescription for the hydromorphone, he said.

Vettel said investigators continue to look into Brown’s claim that he was assaulted by three men after being forced from his car on the night of Aug. 18 in the 400 block of 21st Street South.

Vettel has previously said officers encountered Brown at a service station in Fargo and asked him about what appeared to be an injury to his head. Brown reportedly told the officers he was driving his vehicle when a man with a pistol walked into the path of his vehicle, forcing him to stop.

Brown said another man pulled him from his vehicle and struck him in the head with an object. He said he was robbed of his cash and that he saw three men running away.

Vettel said he couldn’t comment on whether the carjacking incident may have been drug-related.

“What we can state is we’ve had some concerns about what exactly happened there,” he said.

The heroin bust is significant, he said, because police have intelligence that heroin distribution is on the rise in the metro area, he said.

“Certainly this does show we’re doing everything we can to prevent heroin from getting a foothold here in the city of Fargo,” he said.

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