Forest Lake man arrested in Onamia drug bust

FBI, task force agents uncover $40K worth of methamphetamine and marijuana in hotel room


Jeff Hage
Princeton Union-Eagle

A Forest Lake man was arrested by agents from the FBI and the North Central Drug Task Force last Wednesday, Sept. 12, after drugs estimated to be worth over $40,000 were found in his room at the Grand Casino Mille Lacs Hotel in Onamia.

Darren Dexter, 27, of Forest Lake, was arrested, according to Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren. Dexter had outstanding warrants for his arrest from Pine and Ramsey counties.

Lindgren said agents found marijuana in plain view during their initial visit to the room Dexter was staying in. A search warrant was issued to search the hotel room. Agents discovered several more jars of marijuana along with a safe that contained a loaded .22 caliber handgun, an estimated three-quarters of a pound of suspected methamphetamine and about $7,000 in cash.

Lindgren said Valareya Leecy, 21, of Isle, was arrested later for her involvement in the drugs. Both suspects were seen in court on Friday, Sept. 14.

Darren Dexter

Dexter is charged with first degree controlled substance-possession. Bail was set at $400,000 unconditional, $200,000 with conditions. Dexter was ordered held for being in possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a previous crime of violence. Dexter’s warrant from Pine County is for aggravated robbery in the first degree.

Leecy is charged with two counts of fifth degree controlled substance crimes. She was released of her own recognizance.

“This is a significant drug seizure for our area,” Lindgren said.

The North Central Drug Task Force has been in operation since 2005. The task force is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office, Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department and the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office. This also includes the County Attorney’s Offices of Aitkin, Mille Lacs and Kanabec.

Mille Lacs County Times editor Gary Larson contributed to this article.