A Winona, Minnesota, man was taken into custody on drug charges March 11, following a traffic stop north of Stoddard.

According to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, shortly after midnight, a Vernon County deputy observed a suspicious vehicle on State Hwy. 35, north of Stoddard. A traffic stop was conducted on Mallard Lane, just off of State Hwy. 35. The operator was identified as Dillon J. Hale, 30, and the passenger was identified as Marvella NL Collins, 47, formerly of Sparta.

The deputy observed indicators of drug impairment and a K9 from the city of La Crosse was called to assist. The K9 performed a free air exterior sniff of the vehicle and alerted to the presence of illegal narcotics.

A search of the vehicle and occupants was conducted. Methamphetamine and methamphetamine paraphernalia was located on Dillon Hale. Hale also had a suspended driver’s license and a felony warrant out of Winona, Minnesota, for failing to follow his requirements of his parole conditions.

Hale was taken into custody and is facing tentative charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and operating while under the influence of a controlled substance.

This incident remains under investigation by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office. Charges will be sought through the Vernon County District Attorney’s Office.

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