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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — Another court hearing is scheduled in Dunn County January 16 for a 26-year-old Eau Claire woman arrested on I-94 in the Town of Elk Mound in October with 85 grams of cocaine in the car.
Tamara L. Howlett is scheduled to appear before Judge James Peterson on one felony count of possessing more than 40 grams of cocaine with intent to deliver and one misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon.
Judge Peterson set bail for Howlett October 23 with a $1,000 signature bond.
According to the criminal complaint, Dunn County Investigator Kyle Knotz was investigating drug sales being conducted by Howlett and Terrell I. Wilson.
Knotz was contacted by a confidential informant who said she had been contacted by Howlett, who had told the CI that Howlett was going to meet with Wilson’s cocaine supplier to obtain more cocaine. Wilson was out of the area and needed Howlett to pick up more cocaine for him, the complaint states.
The CI told Investigator Knotz that Howlett was going to meet Wilson’s cocaine supplier in Hudson, and Wilson’s supplier owed them $8,000.
Investigators observed Howlett travelling to the County Market parking lot in Hudson, where Howlett made “quick contact” with a lone man in a vehicle. The man was subsequently stopped by the Minnesota State Patrol and identified as Trenton Pollard, according to the complaint.
Investigator Knotz continued surveillance of Howlett as she and the CI traveled eastbound on Interstate-94. Investigator Knotz observed that Howlett was driving much faster than the posted speed limit of 70 miles per hour and estimated her speed to be between 90 and 100 mph.
As Howlett approached mile marker 50 on I-94 in the Town of Elk Mound, Investigator Knotz directed Dunn County Deputy Emmer Shields to conduct a traffic stop.
Howlett admitted to deputies that she had cocaine inside the center console of the vehicle and that she had a pistol on her person. The pistol was concealed and was discovered in the side strap of Howlett’s bra. The pistol was loaded with live ammunition, and Howlett did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, according to the complaint.
Investigators conducted a search of the vehicle and found the suspected cocaine in the center console. The substance field tested positive for cocaine and weighed approximately 85.8 grams (three ounces). Howlett’s cell phone also was seized, along with $518 in cash. Investigators determined the vehicle was registered to Michael Padden, who Howlett said was Wilson’s attorney.
Howlett told Investigator Knotz she had lived with Wilson since May 24, 2019, in Eau Claire. Two or three people would come to the house to buy cocaine, and Wilson would leave the house to sell cocaine.
Howlett said she did not know the supplier’s name but she had seen him on two occasions when she drove Wilson to pick up cocaine. Howlett was shown a picture of Trenton Pollard, and she identified him as the dealer, according to the complaint.
According to a news release from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, as of December 30, there was still an active arrest warrant for Wilson.