Two arrested on suspected drug charges in Grand Forks

What seemed like a routine traffic stop early Friday morning in Grand Forks led to the arrest of two people accused of making meth. UND said it was also the first successful assignment for Ben, university police's new dog. Arrested were Trent Wad...

1011539+Johnston, Trent.jpg
Trent Wade Johnston
We are part of The Trust Project.


What seemed like a routine traffic stop early Friday morning in Grand Forks led to the arrest of two people accused of making meth.

UND said it was also the first successful assignment for Ben, university police’s new dog.

Arrested were Trent Wade Johnston, 44, and Marnee Jo Vanscoy, 38, both from Grand Forks.

The Grand Forks County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged each of them with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.


According to a police report, Officer Anthony Thiry saw their vehicle with a side tail light out at around 2:30 a.m. in north Grand Forks and pulled them over at the M&H gas station at 423 Fifth Ave. N.

Thiry reported smelling something like marijuana and Johnston acted very nervous when asked about it. Johnston told the officer that a friend had taken a pipe out of the vehicle earlier.

When another officer brought Ben, the Labrador retriever detected what turned out to be a glass pipe, the report said.

Searching the vehicle some more, officers found multiple pipes, a red straw containing white powder later identified as methamphetamine, and a water bottle with white pellets, clear liquid and black flakes in it, the report said.

A Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force detective was summoned to talk with Johnston, who explained how he made meth and the material for making meth was in the vehicle, the report said.

Another officer interviewed Vanscoy, who told them she buys Sudafed for Johnston, the report said. Sudafed is a cold medicine used in meth manufacture.

Conspiracy to manufacture meth, the most serious of the charges Johnston and Vanscoy face, has a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

Johnston was also charged with driving with a suspended license. He had a warrant for his arrest from Cavalier County for unauthorized use of a vehicle, among other charges.


A judge set bond at $10,000 surety for Johnston at $5,000 surety for Vanscoy on Friday. Their preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8 in state district court in Grand Forks.

1011540+Vanscoy, Marnee.jpg
Marnee Jo Vanscoy

Related Topics: CRIME
What to read next
Leafy greens are popping in area gardens. If you're not a big fan of kale, but still want the nutritional benefit, try adding some to a smoothie. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams shares a favorite green smoothie recipe that even some of the most kale-adverse people will like. Honest!
Only 7 percent of U.S. adults have optimal measures of health. But you can take steps to make your numbers better. In this Health Fusion column, Viv Williams explores a study about our nation's cardiometabolic health status. And she shares her own lifestyle lapses in judgement.
Experts warn that simply claiming the benefits may create paper trails for law enforcement officials in states criminalizing abortion. That will complicate life for the dozens of corporations promising to protect, or even expand, the abortion benefits for employees and their dependents.
In Minnesota, abortion is protected by the state’s constitution and is legal up to the point of viability, which is generally thought to begin at about 24 weeks, when the fetus can survive outside the womb. Those who work with Minnesotans who seek abortions say barriers, both legal and practical, forced some to travel to Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin even prior to the Supreme Court’s decision.