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Woman sentenced for leaving meth needles near children

Jessica Wagner1 / 2
Dustin Wagner2 / 2

An Osakis woman was sentenced April 4 in Douglas County District Court for leaving methamphetamine paraphernalia, including needles, a pipe and syringes, near her children.

Jessica Jean Wagner, 28, who entered a guilty plea, was ordered to serve 60 days in jail and placed on supervised probation for five years. She received credit for the 40 days she spent behind bars while her case proceeded.

Judge Ann Carrott gave Wagner a stay of adjudication, which means that if she completes the terms of her probation and stays out of trouble, the case will be dismissed and she won't be convicted of the crime.

Twelve conditions were attached to the sentence. She must have no misdemeanor violations, stay in contact with her probation agent, submit to random searches and testing, complete an alcohol and mental health program, refrain from using alcohol or controlled substances and follow other instructions.

Wagner's husband, Dustin Kalo Wagner, 30, was charged with the same felony offense — storage of methamphetamine paraphernalia in a child's residence. He petitioned to enter a guilty plea on Feb. 8 and was scheduled to be sentenced on April 5 but failed to appear at the hearing.

The Osakis Police Department obtained a warrant and searched the Wagners' house at 705 Lake Street in Osakis on Aug. 2, 2017.

After a story about the charges was published on the Osakis Review website, Jessica Wagner contacted the newspaper and said that her three children, aged 4, 6 and 9 at the time, "never once saw a single piece of paraphernalia."

In an email to the Review, she said, "Yes, we used but we are both taking the necessary steps, voluntarily I might add, to get better. The morning they came to search the house I was packing and that was the only reason my things were even near my children's. I take full responsibility for my use but will not be made into a monster by you or anyone else."

According to the criminal complaint:

Officers found a syringe on top of a refrigerator that field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

In one child's bedroom, an officer saw a mattress on the floor with pink blankets and toys on it. In front of a closet, the officer found a syringe on the floor that appeared to have the rubber portion removed.

Next to the bed, the officer looked through a milk crate that was being used as a toy box and found children's toys, multiple used syringes and a broken piece of glass that was consistent with that of a meth pipe.

In a dining room, officers found additional syringes and small baggies containing crystal residue.

In the basement, officers collected 12 syringes, two plastic baggies containing meth residue, five Buprenorphine pills — an opioid medication used to treat narcotic addictions — two scales and three meth pipes.

Officers found a total of 28 hypodermic needles. They also found several torch-style lighters throughout the house.

After officers read Jessica Wagner her rights, she denied using meth and said she was unsure if her husband used it, according to court documents. Officers took photographs of her arm, which appeared to have track marks, according to the complaint.

The children were removed from the home and placed in the care of a family member, according to Osakis Police Chief Chad Gulbranson.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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