A 25-year-old man arrested Saturday in Lewiston at the scene of a methamphetamine bust was paroled three months ago on a 2002 Fillmore County meth conviction.
A Fillmore County judge sentenced Timothy James Prigge in 2003 to more than seven years in prison. Prigge served time at the St. Cloud and Willow River-Moose Lake prisons and earned the right for early release after completing the Challenge Incarceration Program.
The Department of Corrections paroled Prigge on Dec. 6, state records show.
On Saturday, police received a tip about a meth operation at a home on East Main Street in Lewiston and obtained search warrants, Lewiston Police Chief Mark Dungy said.
They found material and equipment in a garage consistent with meth making, including acid-gas generators, jars with tubing, muriatic acid and a white substance in the bottoms of the jars, Dungy said.
Clean Harbors Environmental Services helped clean it up, Dungy said. Officers from many agencies responded and recovered suspected meth.
Prigge had lived on Benson Drive in the southwestern corner of Lewiston, court records showed. However, Saturday's bust occurred on the east side of town.
Police arrested Prigge, who was in the Winona County Jail on Monday awaiting a parole violation hearing. Winona County Attorney Chuck MacLean said his office would decide in the coming days how to charge Prigge.
The Saturday bust is a carbon copy of the one that sent Prigge to prison.
In May 2002, police acting on a tip entered a home in Fillmore County and found Prigge and two others inside a residential garage with materials and equipment used to make methamphetamine, court documents said.
The other two defendants also went to prison. Mark Anthony Heath, 32, is in the Rush City prison. Broc Allen Buytaert, 26, is in the Challenge Incarceration Program community work phase in Winona County.
The Challenge Incarceration Program is a fast-track prison boot camp mandated by the 1992 Minnesota Legislature. It selects non-violent drug and property offenders for physical routine, labor, behavioral training, and attendance in support groups and classrooms. It then places offenders in a community for work under intensive surveillance before they qualify for supervised release.
Prigge was under supervised release to Kathy Foley, a Department of Corrections agent in Winona County. Foley and state corrections spokeswoman Liz Bogut said Monday they could not provide details of Prigge's parole status beyond information on the state's offender information Web site.
Reporter Jeff Dankert can be reached at (507) 453-3513, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.