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Charges issued against Woodbury man accused of possessing 35 pounds of pot

Formal charges were filed this month against a Woodbury man accused of possessing more than 35 pounds of marijuana, along with other drugs in his Upper Afton Road residence.

Frank A. Santovi Jr. was charged March 14 with three felonies: first-degree cocaine possession, third-degree marijuana possession and a tax-related drug crime.

Santovi was released from Washington County jail Monday on a $100,000 bond.

He was first arrested Dec. 29, 2011, after members of a joint drug task force - acting on a tip - executed a search warrant at his residence.

According to a criminal complaint, investigators arrived and detected the smell of marijuana. Santovi, who was home at the time, along with two others, including a child, allegedly admitted there was "a large quantity" of pot in the basement, the complaint states.

Behind a locked basement door, investigators found large trash bags filled with a substance that prosecutors claim later tested positive for marijuana.

Authorities also discovered a false step on the basement stairs that was hinged. The false step contained more marijuana and more than three ounces of cocaine, according to the complaint.

In addition to the pot and cocaine, investigators also turned up vials labeled "recombinant human growth hormone," psychedelic mushrooms, a digital scale, drug paraphernalia and a substance used to dilute drugs. Authorities also seized more than $9,200 in cash.

According to the complaint, Santovi called his father while in Washington County jail. During the call, he allegedly told his father "they found it." When asked how much was found, Santovi allegedly responded, "It's enough."

Prosecutors said Santovi will make his first court appearance April 18.

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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