(Moorhead, MN) -- A joint investigation involving several agencies in Clay County has resulted in a large seizure of illegal drugs.
The Moorhead Police Deparment announced Wednesday afternoon that they, along with help from the Clay County Sheriff's Office, Cass County Drug Task Force and the DEA's Fargo office obtained specific information showing the suspects were frequently traveling to the Minneapolis area to pick up a shipment of drugs to distribute into the community.
Authorities then attempted to conduct two traffic stops on I-94 in Clay County, with both vehicles tried to flee from Clay deputies; however, both were eventually stopped with interventions by law enforcement. During searches of the suspects and vehicles, officers located 1,091 suspected fentanyl pills and approximately 20 grams of suspected methamphetamine. The street value of the drugs seized is estimated to be $37,000. During the investigation, ammunition was located along with one of the fleeing vehicles was found to be a stolen car.
The suspects, who have been identified as 52-year-old Larry McClendon, 36-year-old Raphael Murphy and 32-year-old Cameron Desjarlais, were booked into the Clay County Correctional Facility with long-form complaints requested for all three. McClendon faces Felony First Degree Controlled Substance Conspiracy to Sell, Felony Fleeing in a Motor Vehicle, and Driving after Cancellation - Inimical to Public Safety. Murphy faces First Degree Controlled Substance and Fifth Degree Controlled Substance Conspiracy to Sell, along with Felon in Possession of Ammunition. Desjarlais faces First Degree and Fifth Degree Controlled Substance Conspiracy to Sell, Felony Fleeing in a Motor Vehicle, and four Cass County active drug warrants.
The investigation is the third significant seizure that disrupted the distribution of drugs into our community within the last month. In March, two individuals were arrested after investigators intercepted a shipment of powdered fentanyl transported on I-94, in Clay County, with a street value of $15,000. On April 12th, two separate individuals were arrested on I 94, in Clay County, with a shipment of fentanyl pills, methamphetamine, and marijuana, with a street value of $20,000, also headed to the community for distribution.