An Elk River man facing felony drug charges made an initial appearance in Rice County District Court this week.
Todd Alan Berhow, 50, is charged with two counts of fifth-degree drug possession, each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He also faces a petty misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police say they found him asleep in the parking lot of a Northfield truck stop, then found marijuana, methamphetamine and Adderall in his car.
A Rice County sheriff’s deputy was conducting a routine check in the parking lot of the Flying J truck stop on Aug. 3 when he spotted Berhow asleep in his car with all its windows down, according to the criminal complaint.
The deputy approached the car and saw several empty malt liquor bottles in the back seat and a “dugout,” a pipe used for smoking marijuana. He woke up Berhow and asked if he was all right; Berhow replied that he was fine, and was on his way home from work in Iowa when he got tired and stopped to take a nap.
Berhow denied that he had been drinking, and said the empty bottles were from job sites. He also denied that the dugout contained marijuana, according to the complaint, but then changed his story and said there was marijuana in the pipe.
The deputy searched Berhow’s car and found nine Adderall pills in an unmarked prescription bottle, a light bulb containing black and white residue that appeared to be methamphetamine, four plastic bags containing trace amounts of suspected methamphetamine and a plastic container containing marijuana next to a marijuana grinder on the back seat, according to the complaint.
Berhow told the deputy that he takes Adderall so he doesn’t get tired, and that he bought 10 of the pills for $15, the complaint charges. He also admitted that he smokes methamphetamine “occasionally,” according to the complaint.
Berhow has been released from custody on his promise to make all future court appearances. An omnibus hearing in the case is scheduled Jan. 9 in Rice County District Court.