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Forum News Service, Published August 20 2013

Bemidji parking lot bust yields 400 grams of pot, hallucinogenic mushrooms

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Two men were arrested with more than 400 grams of marijuana and 30 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms – both hidden in a banjo case – in a Burger King parking lot here Saturday night, police said.

Darwin Lee Seeger, 27, and James Daniel Brennan, 20, were arraigned Monday on fifth-degree drug possession charges in Beltrami District Court. Seeger and Brennan were released from jail after posting bond.

The men were arrested about 11 p.m. Saturday after a Burger King employee called police, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Beltrami County Attorney’s Office. Seeger and Brennan were drinking beer in a Geo Tracker in the restaurant’s drive-through, the employee reported.

When police arrived, Seeger, in order to search for his driver’s license, handed his beer to an officer with the Bemidji Police Department, the complaint stated. Police said Brennan was also drinking beer. When the officer told Seeger it was illegal to drink and drive, he “appeared surprised,” according to the complaint. Seeger then gave permission for a search of the car.

Inside, police found seven bags of marijuana weighing more than 400 grams, the complaint said. Also found was an open case of beer, a digital scale, a 30-gram bag of psilocybin mushrooms and $812 in currency. Police said the packaging of the marijuana and mushrooms, along with the presence of the scale and cash, were “consistent with drug trafficking,” the complaint stated.

Seeger told police he and Brennan left Dinkytown, a neighborhood near the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus, sometime Saturday, and that the pair had “come across” the marijuana.

Brennan denied any knowledge of the drugs’ presence in the banjo case, and officials at the Beltrami County Jail found a vial containing a small amount of pot in his clothing, the complaint said. He told police he didn’t know how the vial, scale or a marijuana smoking pipe ended up in his pockets.