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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...

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Trent Wade Johnston
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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.

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Marnee Jo Vanscoy

Related Topics: CRIME
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