Steven Lance Almen, 57, Thief River Falls, was sentenced for a felony charge of fifth-degree controlled substance crime.
A felony charge of third-degree criminal controlled substance crime and misdemeanor fourth-degree driving while impaired was dismissed. For the fifth degree charge, Almen was granted a five-year stay of imposition.
As a condition of that sentence, he was ordered to serve supervised probation for five years. Almen was ordered to complete a diagnostic assessment and psychological evaluation/treatment. He was ordered to have no contact with people associated with illegal drugs. Almen was ordered to not use or possess firearms, ammunition, or explosives. He was ordered to supply a DNA sample. Almen was also ordered to pay $210 in fees and fines.
The charges stemmed from a traffic stop at about 9:55 p.m. May 3, 2018, near the intersection of Duluth Avenue and Eighth Street, according to the complaint. Almen had a revoked license and a Pennington County warrant for failing to appear at a court hearing.
He possessed pill bottles, including one pill bottle with a label that had been scraped off. Police were unable to read the label and found marijuana inside. Police then searched the vehicle, finding a small baggie containing methamphetamine, numerous small baggies containing a white residue, two glass pipes with a white residue, and a bong commonly used to smoke marijuana.
When told that police found meth in his vehicle, Almen said it didn’t belong to him and police shouldn’t bother asking him where he had gotten it. He said he wouldn’t tell them. Almen had dilated pupils and a lack of balance. He told police that he had smoked meth around 8 a.m. that day and smoked marijuana a couple of hours before he had been stopped by police.
Almen failed field sobriety tests, and a search warrant was granted for his blood or urine. A Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, dated June 18, 2018, determined that amphetamine and meth had been found in Almen’s urine.
A Nov. 21, 2018, BCA report determined the crystal substance weighed 2.623 grams and it did, in fact, contain meth.