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Minnesota roundup: Woman gets 3 years for keeping heroin in bra; 2 more state news stories

Cynthia Esquivel

CROOKSTON, Minn. — A Crookston woman will spend up to three years in jail for keeping heroin she intended to sell in her bra.

Cynthia Esquivel, 45, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Grand Forks District Court to possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver or manufacture, a Class A felony that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. After agreeing to a plea deal, she was sentenced to six years imprisonment with three years suspended. She also was ordered to pay $1,000 in fines.

Esquivel was arrested last July at the Grand Forks Inn, where she had rented a room. Investigators from the Grand Forks Narcotics and Pine-to-Prairie Drug task forces said in court documents they learn she was on probation out of Polk County and had "a large amount of heroin." Court documents also stated hotel staff had seen multiple people coming and going from her room.

Esquivel gave officers a bag she pulled from inside her bra that contained about 41 grams of heroin, according to court documents. She also told agents she had sold approximately half an ounce of heroin that month and "was trying to make some quick money," according to investigators.

The amount of credit she has built up for time served was unavailable in court, though her sentence could be amended once it is determined.

Northern Minnesota officers identified who shot, wounded man

HIBBING, Minn.—Two Hibbing police officers and the allegedly armed man they shot and wounded last week have been identified by authorities.

Che Nathaniel Jones, 24, of Rochester remains hospitalized at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth after he was shot during an incident that began at 12:45 p.m. Friday in Hibbing, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension stated on Tuesday night.

Capt. Kurt Metzig, a 19-year veteran of the Hibbing Police Department, and Officer Cody Loewen, a three-year veteran of the Hibbing Police Department, both fired their weapons during the incident, according to the BCA. Metzig and Loewen have been placed on administrative leave.

On Friday, Metzig and Loewen responded to a 911 call of a person with a gun and encountered Jones carrying a gun outside of the residence, according to the BCA.

"According to the preliminary investigation, when the two officers ordered Jones to drop his weapon, Jones fled on foot. Officers pursued Jones to behind the home, where, at one point, he allegedly pointed his gun at the officers. Both officers fired, striking Jones," the BCA said.

Another person, who hasn't been identified, was injured in the incident that prompted the 911 call and was transported to Fairview Range Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The BCA stated Tuesday that the circumstances surrounding that incident remain under investigation.

Authorities ID Motley man who died in fire

MOTLEY, Minn. — Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch said Tuesday, Jan. 17, that Alan Dumpprope, 20, of Motley, has been identified as the person found dead inside a home last week.

The Cass County Sheriff's Office received a report of a house fire at 6:42 a.m. Friday off Minnesota Highway 64 in rural Motley, about 22 miles west of Brainerd.

Responders arrived and found a trailer house engulfed in fire. Efforts to extinguish the fire were immediately underway.

An autopsy is scheduled with the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office. The initial investigation says Dumpprope died of smoke inhalation, Burch said in a release.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation with the assistance of the Minnesota State Fire Marshal's Office.