3 Sleepy Eye men face charges after drug probe

NEW?ULM – Three Sleepy Eye men have been charged in Brown County District Court after an investigation for selling drugs and possessing firearms.

Michael A. Ramirez Sr., 45, 321 Walnut St. S.E., Sleepy Eye, was charged Friday with four counts of felony not to possess firearm, four counts of felony ineligible possession of a firearm and a felony 5th degree controlled substance crime.

Braulio Ramirez, 49, 321 Walnut St. S.E., was charged with four felony counts of felony not to possess firearm and four counts of felony ineligible possession of a firearm.

Michael A. Ramirez Jr., 22, 321 Walnut St. S.E. was charged Friday with two counts of felony 5th degree controlled substance possession.

According to the complaint, the Brown County Sheriff’s Office forwarded an anonymous e-mail about how Michael A. Ramirez Sr. was receiving packages containing chemicals used to make “spice” or synthetic marijuana. A Brown County Deputy contacted the U.S Postal Inspector Service about the e-mail allegations and learned that Ramirez received at least eight packages from North Carolina and Ninja Footlocker in Alabama.

On Sept. 12, 2013, an express package was intercepted and the U.S. Postal Inspector informed the deputy that it seemed to contain several small packages that could be bath salts or synthetic marijuana chemicals. The deputy told the postal inspector to send the package so Ramirez wouldn’t get suspicious, since the package was overdue at that time. The deputy learned via email on Nov. 4 that another package was intercepted enroute to Ramirez.

In response to the e-mail, the deputy requested a trash pull at Ramirez’ address on Nov. 5. Police and a Brown-Lyon-Redwood-Renville Drug Task Force member examined trash collected at Ramirez house and found several bags with cut corners and a bag containing a green, leafy substance that appeared to be marijuana or synthetic marijuana.

The deputy contacted the U.S. Postal Inspector, who was attempting to obtain a warrant for the package intended for Ramirez. A warrant was obtained on Nov. 5 and two silver, heat-shrink packages were found containing a white, powdery substance. NIK tests A, U, and G were used on the white substance, all returning negative.

A controlled delivery was done for the packages on Nov. 6 at Ramirez’ home with a Drug Task Force member observing, before a search warrant was obtained. The Drug Task Force Commander was surveilling the residence on Nov. 6 when a 2002 GMC was observed departing with Ramirez and another adult male. The vehicle was ordered stopped and police searched Ramirez and he was brought back to the residence. A plastic baggie containing a green, leafy substance that smelled like synthetic marijuana, a glass pipe and $424 in cash were found on Ramirez.

Searching the residence, law enforcement found many items including drug paraphernalia, shotguns, rifles, two money bundles totaling $2,500, a computer and surveillance system. All items were collected for evidence, and some were taken to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for further analysis.

Braulio Ramirez was flushing items in a toilet when agents entered the residence. He was arrested for possession of firearms found in the residence.

Ramirez Jr. was arrested for possession of controlled substances during the search.

A review of Ramirez Sr., record showed he was convicted for 1st degree controlled substance sale on Oct. 23, 2006 in Brown County, a crime of violence under state law.

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