Chisholm Drug Bust

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Sheriff logo - Gordon Ramsay


Sheriff's Office • 100 North Fifth Avenue West • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2340 •

Gordon Ramsay

Date: 03/30/2023

Release Issued by: Sgt. Warren Johnson, LSVOTF

Chisholm Drug Bust

On 03/21/2023, the Lake Superior Violent Offender Task Force (LSVOTF) was assisted by local law enforcement agencies in executing a search warrant at a residence on the 700 block of 3rd St. NW in Chisholm, MN.

The search warrant was executed due to a narcotics investigation involving 40-year-old JUSTIN DEAN STAUFFER, who had been residing at the above-mentioned residence.

Upon officers’ arrival at the residence, STAUFFER was observed leaving his alleged bedroom and exiting the rear of the residence in what appeared to be an attempt to evade law enforcement. After a few warning barks from police K9 “Bear” who was guarding the rear perimeter, STAUFFER complied with officer commands and was detained without incident. STAUFFER was then searched pursuant to the search warrant, at which time suspected drug paraphernalia was located on his person.

A search of STAUFFERS’ bedroom resulted in the discovery and seizure of an AR-15 rifle, ammunition, 2 magazines, as well as an assortment of suspected controlled substances, including approximately 2 ounces of methamphetamine, over 8 grams of fentanyl, .6 grams of cocaine, a small amount of marijuana, and numerous schedule 2 and schedule 4 controlled pills. Digital scales and other evidence of drug distribution were also seized.

During the arraignment hearing at the St. Louis County Courthouse in Hibbing on 03/24/2023, bail was set at $300,000 after STAUFFER received multiple felony charges including 1st degree sale of methamphetamine, 3rd degree sale of fentanyl, 1st degree possession of a controlled substance, and felon in possession of a firearm.

STAUFFER has multiple prior felony convictions on his record relating to drug possession and fleeing law enforcement.

On average, 2 milligrams of fentanyl is considered to be a potentially lethal dose, depending on a person’s body size and past usage. Therefore, the 8 grams of fentanyl seized equates to several thousand lethal doses. While this incident doesn’t necessarily constitute a large quantity drug seizure in terms of weight seized, the impact of only 8 grams of fentanyl on a small Iron Range community is substantial; as is evidenced by the overdose related calls that continue to be reported in the region.

The LSVOTF continues to take a proactive approach by aggressively investigating and apprehending individuals who continually show complete disregard for public safety and attempt to profit from distributing fentanyl in the Iron Range area.

The LSVOTF would like to thank the Chisholm Police Department, the Eveleth Police Department K9 Team, and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.