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Minn. man accused of fleeing St. Croix County deputies on I-94

A Minnesota man accused of leading authorities on a two-state pursuit that ended after he drove over spike strips near Baldwin faces felony charges in St. Croix County.

Prosecutors charged 52-year-old Dean A. Curley with fleeing an officer and methamphetamine possession after the Feb. 22 incident on Interstate 94. The White Bear Lake resident pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include one count of possessing drug paraphernalia. Curley posted $2,000 cash bond Monday, March 6.

According to a criminal complaint, St. Croix County sheriff's deputies began pursuing a black Ford pickup at about 6 a.m. after getting word from Minnesota authorities that they were discontinuing their pursuit at the border.

Deputies followed the truck and watched as it allegedly drove erratically, nearly striking a semi-trailer in traffic. The officers then activated emergency lights and began pursuing the truck, which didn't stop, according to the charging document.

Officers placed spike strips on the freeway, which the driver, later identified as Curley, drove over. He was allegedly seen tossing plastic baggies out the truck's window before pulling over just east of Highway 63.

Curley was arrested at gunpoint and was questioned later at the St. Croix County jail, where he was found in possession of $2,300 in cash in his wallet. Deputies, who noted in the complaint the "presence of controlled substances that appeared to be packaged in individual baggies," confiscated the cash.

Curley told officers he was on his way to work in Rochester, Minn., when police in Minnesota tried stopping him. He kept going because he was scared, without a license and didn't want to go to jail, according to the complaint.

After first saying the bags thrown from the truck contained sugar, Curley later allegedly admitted the bags contained meth.

Curley, who court records show has eight aliases, was described as cooperative by deputies until being informed that the cash was being confiscated.

"He became very angry, swiped his copy of the property receipt on the floor and told me to get out after calling me a thief," deputy Jeffrey Kennet wrote in his report.

Curley returns to court April 10 for a pretrial conference.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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