Complaint: Alleged Mankato Meth Dealers Linked to Mexican Drug Cartel

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(Mankato, MN) – Amended criminal complaints have now been filed against a Mankato couple accused of selling methamphetamine, linking the two to a Mexican drug cartel through their alleged supplier.

Randy and April Bade are each facing six felony counts of first degree drug sales. The initial charges were brought last fall after a search of their property at 1800 6th Avenue in Mankato allegedly turned up nearly 300 grams of meth, along with a 10-plant marijuana grow operation.

The amended complaints were filed today (4/4/18) and say that text messages show that the person who supplied the Bades with meth acquired it from a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) and that the supplier’s main point of contact is from Mexico.

Police also say their investigation shows that the source usually “fronted” the meth (at $5,250/pound) to Randy Bade, who is told to later wire money into various accounts to receive more product. Police say Bade made most of the cash deposits to pay for the drugs himself, but other times had one or two others do it for him.

Police say many of the deposits/withdrawals were being done in Phoenix and Nogalez, Arizona – and across the border in Nogales, Mexico, although there were also other cities and states linked to the movements of the funds.

In one transaction in particular, police note that $5,000 was sent from Wells Fargo in Mankato and withdrawn the next day at the U.S./Mexico border.

Methamphetamine that’s produced in Mexico now accounts for about 80% of the supply in Minnesota. In Mexico, there are nine major DTO’s, or cartels as labeled by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

In the area covered by the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force (Blue Earth, Martin, Nicollet & Watonwan counites), more than three pounds of methamphetamine was seized last year.

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