HIBBING — Three local men were arrested last week in a drug bust near downtown Hibbing, officials said Tuesday.
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office announced in email that authorities recovered a “large quantity of methamphetamine and cash” from the Oliver Apartments located at 2011 Sixth Ave. E. in Hibbing.
At 8:41 p.m. last Wednesday, members of the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force entered the residence on a search warrant.
Kenneth Pogorelc, 33, Robert Goble, 57, and William Foster, 61, all of Hibbing, were arrested during the incident and charged with drug-related crimes in St. Louis County Court in Hibbing.
Foster was booked Friday at the St. Louis County Jail in Duluth on suspicion of drug charges. In 2013, Foster was convicted on a fifth-degree felony drug charge for possession of schedule 1, 2, 3, 4 drugs in Virginia. His bail is currently set at $30,000.
Pogorelc is also being held in St. Louis County Jail on suspicion of drug charges. He has a criminal history that includes eight felony charges in Minnesota dating back to 2003 — the majority of which are drug and burglary related. He is currently being held with no option for bail.
As of Tuesday, Goble did not appear on the county jail roster.
The recent drug bust is the second notable one in a year in Hibbing. The previous incident occurred in May 2019, when local police, county deputies, and the regional task force seized seven pounds of meth from 121 18th St. East in Hibbing, along with $10,840 in cash, heroin, mushrooms and marijuana.
In September 2019, Minnesota Congressman Pete Stauber announced that St. Louis County has been deemed part of the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program, one created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 assisting law enforcement agencies determine critical drug-trafficking regions in the U.S.
Last year, the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force seized 18.53 pounds of meth from across northern Minnesota in 2018, marking a 74 percent increase from 2017 — more than the four previous years combined, according to the latest annual report from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The trend followed the volume of drugs available in the state, as the state’s Violent Crime Enforcement Team seized a total of 1,145 pounds of meth in 2018, a nearly 50 percent jump from 2017.
Back in 2003 as the popularity of meth steadily grew, agents located 410 makeshift labs in the state, with the drug being concocted with pseudoephedrine, a decongestant found in Sudafed. Since then, meth has never left the area and agencies have continued efforts of seizure and arrests to try and quell the epidemic.