Commander Jeff Wersal, a Licensed Peace Officer in the State of Minnesota, currently the Commander of the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force, reports that on February 6, 2018, he was contacted by Cannon River Drug Task Force Agent Cordova and was advised of three recent drug overdoses that occurred in the City of Northfield over the weekend of February 24 and February 25, 2018. Cordova advised that the three people who overdosed were all given several doses of Narcan which ultimately saved their lives.
Cordova advised that during their investigation they located several small blue pills that had the markings ‘K9’ on them. Wersal notes that he is aware that pills imprinted with ‘K9’ are 30 mg Oxycodone. Wersal is also aware that over the past year narcotics investigators of Northern Minnesota and North Dakota confiscated a large number of blue pills marked as 30 mg Oxycodone. However, it was discovered that the pills contained Fentanyl, causing them to be much more potent than Oxycodone. The aforementioned pills were deemed to be counterfeit Oxycodone pills.
Cordova further advised that after speaking with the victims of the recent overdoses, that they had suspects in Northfield and in Mankato that were possibly involved in the distribution of the pills. On February 20, 2018, Wersal was contacted by Agent Cordova who advised that the Cannon River Drug Task Force had arrested an individual in the City of Northfield. Cordova advised that during the arrest that individual was found to be in possession of pills marked as Oxycodone, 12 grams of cocaine, and a large amount of marijuana.
Cordova advised that during a recorded statement under Miranda, that individual provided information that that individual admitted to selling pills to the overdosed victims. That individual further stated he had acquired the pills from an individual identified as Joshua Ryan Chlan, who lives in Mankato. The individual also stated he purchased five pills from Chlan and he saw Chlan in possession of at least 20 more pills. The information further stated that Chlan purchased the pills on the internet over the ‘dark web.’
Cordova then advised Wersal that he showed the individual a photograph of Chlan from Chlan’s FaceBook page and the individual identified him as the pill supplier. Cordova further advised that the individual is not given any case consideration for providing the information. Wersal notes that on March 1, 2018, Cordova advised that the pills they recovered in Northfield after the overdoses were tested by the BCA lab and found to contain Carfentanil and cocaine.
Wersal further notes that he is aware through his training and experience that the ‘dark web’ is a world wide web contact which requires specific software configurations or authorizations access. Wersal reports he was able to confirm that Chlan was Joshua Ryan Chlan, with a date of birth of September 9, 1997.
Wersal notes through investigation by the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force a discovered that Chlan currently attends Mankato State University and is living at a residence located in the city of Mankato. On March 1, 2018, Chad Ruch met with the outside manager of the residence the confirmed that Chlan was currently renting a residence at that location. Additional, Agent Ruch located a vehicle outside of the residence which registered to Chlan. Wersal notes he further discussed with Senior Special Agent Lance and Agent Cordova the importance of securing Chlan’s computer to verify if he was indeed ordering pills over the internet which contained Carfentanil.
Wersal notes that a search warrant was applied for and approved for Chlan’s residence.
Wersal notes a preoperational briefing was held at the Blue Earth County Justice Center. Agents Paine and Huettl began surveillance at Chlan’s residence to verify that Chlan was home. After two hours of surveillance it was decided that Agent Paine, acting in an uncover capacity would attempt to make contact with individuals at the residence to verify if Chlan was home or coming home soon. Paine then knocked on the door and asked to talk to Chlan. Chlan was then summoned to the door by a roommate. Chlan then greeted Agent Paine, who identified herself as a police officer and asked Chlan to sit down on the front porch so they could talk. Agent Huettl then assisted Agent Paine in detaining Chlan and advised that agents had a search warrant for his home.
When other agents arrived, Chlan was asked which of the five bedrooms belonged to him. Chlan then lead agents to his bedroom and immediately upon entering the room Agent McGinnis observed several items of controlled substances in plain view. The items included blue pills, reported THC wax, Suboxone and white powder. Agent McGinnis then contacted Wersal to draft another search warrant for those controlled substances which was later approved. Eventually, Chlan was taken to the Blue Earth County Jail. Wersal notes that Senior Special Agent Lance and Special Agent Johnson then interviewed two of Chlan’s roommates who confirmed that Chlan had a drug problem.
Wersal further notes that items of evidence collected from Chlan’s bedroom included two Dell computers, a flash thumb drive, two iPhones, two United State Postal Service packages addressed to Chlan, 13 blue pills printed with A215 (Oxycodone) that may contain other opioids, 33 blue pills imprinted with M30 (Oxycodone) that may contain other opioids, 1.5 green pills printed with OC80 (80 mg Oxycontin) which may contain other opioids, a white powder substance in a baggy which field-tested positive for cocaine and weighed .5 grams, 7 Suboxone strips in their original package, a baggy containing unknown yellow powder located in an United States Postal Service package weighing 31.5 grams, white powder, a KwikTrip card, and a rolled up $20 bill located together on a book sitting on a chair, small amounts of reported THC wax, and several items of drug paraphernalia including pipes, baggies, and digital scales.