A months-long investigation by area drug task force agents into the possible sale of fentanyl-laced heroin has led to two arrests.

Courteney Diane Jones, 22, of Northfield, and Anthoney Michael Fugalli, 27, of Faribault, were charged Wednesday with second-degree heroin possession. Fugalli was also charged with second-degree sale of heroin.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Rice County court, events transpired as follows:

Agents with the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force were looking into allegations that Fugalli had been selling heroin laced with fentanyl, a powerful and highly addictive opioid 100 times more potent than morphine. The agents were watching Fugalli, believing he was making several trips to the Twin Cities each week to purchase heroin and bringing it back to sell in Rice County.

Fugalli, who was stopped April 4 for driving without a valid license, allowed the officer to search his vehicle, but no contraband was found. Agents later learned that Jones, Fugalli’s passenger, bragged that the officer didn’t locate 10 grams of heroin because she had concealed it in her vagina.

On Monday, officers searched Fugalli’s Faribault home. Fugalli, Jones and an unidentified man arrived during the search.

Jones told officers that she had heroin hidden in her bra. Officers found two packages of the drug, which weighed 9.24 grams total.

During interviews with officers, Fugalli admitted the heroin Jones was hiding was his, and that he’d bought 10 grams in the cities, paying $1,100 for it. He’d been going to the cities every few days, he said, picking up about 10 grams of heroin to sell each time. He indicated they’d find a lock box and scale in his room and that the box would contain a couple thousand dollars gotten by selling heroin.

Fugalli admitted that he gave Jones the heroin as they were coming back into town and that she was concealing heroin in her vagina when were stopped by police April 4.

During an interview with investigators, Jones says she knew the substance Fugalli gave her was heroin and that she concealed it as Fugalli had said.

Agents located several pieces of evidence during the search of Fugalli’s home: a digital scale, a tin and a $20 bill with heroin residue, three empty baggies with heroin residue, small paper with suspected black tar heroin and a snort straw with heroin residue. A total of $3,021 was located in the home and on Jones and Fugalli.

In other reports

Rice County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man later charged with burglary for reportedly breaking into his neighbor’s garage and stealing a 12-pack of beer, a chain saw and a pair of pants.

A rural Faribault man told deputies that his dog was barking when he let it out about 4 a.m. Wednesday, but said it’s not an uncommon occurrence when there’s an animal in the yard so he went back to bed. He got up an hour and a half later and noticed a door on a detached garage was locked, which he found unusual.

Inside the garage, the man told police, there was a beer can on the front of his car and several items were missing.

Deputies followed tracks in the snow from the garage, finding the items the neighbor had reported missing, and eventually ran into Chad Einertson, 39, of Faribault. The pattern on the bottom of Einertson’s boot was reportedly consistent with the prints in the snow.

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy.

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Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy

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