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Alleged East Ridge drug dealer faces felonies

A Woodbury teenager accused of peddling drugs at East Ridge High School faces two felony charges after police allegedly witnessed him selling marijuana on school grounds.

Washington County prosecutors in May charged Erik Dunn Flanders, 19, with third-degree drug sales to a minor and fourth-degree marijuana sales in a school zone. Flanders made his first court appearance July 27.

In addition to marijuana allegations, police said Flanders' cell phone housed hundreds of drug-related text messages involving other drugs including cocaine, morphine, Oxycontin and ecstasy.

Police apprehended Flanders during an April 1 traffic stop, where he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his vehicle.

According to a criminal complaint:

Washington County Narcotics Task Force members put Flanders under surveillance following complaints of narcotics trafficking. Flanders was identified by Woodbury police as a primary suspect.

Detectives watched April 1 as Flanders and another teen performed a hand-to-hand exchange between vehicles in the East Ridge parking lot.

The detectives followed Flanders to Bielenberg Sports Center, where he was spotted making a brief interaction with another male teenager at his vehicle's window.

Officers stopped Flanders' vehicle; he allegedly admitted to selling marijuana to at least one person. An occupant of the first vehicle later admitted buying $20 worth of marijuana from Flanders, who he said was known to sell marijuana in East Ridge.

When detectives conducted a forensic search of Flanders' cell phone, thousands of text messages were found. Police examined what prosecutors called a "representative sample" of the messages - approximately 1,100 from a one-week period - most of which police said referred to buying or selling drugs.

If convicted of the more serious charge - selling drugs to a minor - Flanders could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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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