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Erik Burgess, Published October 17 2012

Meth found on 2 men after police chases

MOORHEAD – Two men are facing felony-level drug charges here after fleeing officers across county lines in their car and on foot, according to charges filed in Clay County District Court.

Moorhead police arrested Earl Russell St. Claire, 23, of Dilworth, and Jeffrey Lyle St. Claire, 39, of Bismarck, on Monday after the two fled officers in Mahnomen County, led them on a car chase into Clay County and continued fleeing on foot after their vehicle was stopped, according to court records filed Wednesday.

Police found methamphetamine on both men, court documents say. Both are being held in Clay County Jail.

Bail for Earl St. Claire was set at $100,000 without conditions, and $50,000 with conditions. Bail for Jeffrey St. Claire was set at $15,000.

According to the criminal complaint, the two fled a routine traffic stop in Mahnomen County and led police into Clay County before a Minnesota State Patrol trooper was able to spin their car out.

After their vehicle came to a stop, the two fled on foot into a plowed corn field, the charges allege.

Court documents say that police found seven grams of meth on Earl St. Claire, who was convicted earlier this year for a different charge of possession of meth with intent to deliver.

According to the charges, Earl St. Claire, who police determined was the driver, faces two felony second-degree drug charges, each carrying a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, or both.

He also two other felony third-degree drug charges, which carry maximum sentences of 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.

As the alleged driver, Earl St. Claire also faces a felony count of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. Both men face lesser charges for fleeing police on foot.

The charges allege that police found a keychain vial of meth on Jeffrey St. Claire. He now faces a felony fifth-degree possession charge. The maximum sentence is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518

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