Minneapolis man convicted on drug charges in Ironwood Township

IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) – On January 19, Daniel Jay Saarela of Minneapolis, Minnesota was charged on six counts by Gogebic County Prosecutor Nicholas Jacob.

Saarela was pulled over for a burnt out headlight by the Gogebic County Sheriff’s Department on April 21,2020. Deputy Cody Smith had received an anonymous tip that Saarela might travel to the area with a large amount of meth. Saarela was also considered armed and dangerous.

When Saarela gave Smith a false name and date of birth, Smith called for backup. Officers found methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, scales, drug paraphernalia, scales, brass knuckles, more than $2,500 cash, as well as a loaded gun inside Saarela’s vehicle.

Passenger Destiny Caudill provided incriminating evidence. Caudill was charged with posession of meth with intent to deliver and use of meth. She has pled guilty and awaits sentencing.

Saarela was charged and found guilty by a jury of the following counts:

  • Controlled substance – delivery/manufacture – methamphetamine
  • Controlled substance – delivery/manufacture (cocaine, heroin, or other narcotic) less than 50 grams
  • Weapons – dangerous weapon – miscellaneous
  • Weapons – felony firearm
  • Weapons – firearm – possession by felon
  • Operating a motor vehicle – no license for three years – first offense

Sentencing for Saarela is scheduled for April 22.

Copyright 2021 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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