Grand Rapids Man Charged With First Degree Controlled Substance Crime
A Grand Rapids man has been charged with First Degree Controlled Substance Crime, a felony with a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.
Itasca County Sheriff Deputies found Larry Earl Zempel, 57, of Grand Rapids in a master bedroom on Happy Hollow Road in Grand Rapids and was accompanied by a female occupant. Law enforcement told Zempel that they had a search warrant for controlled substances and cash.
According to a criminal complaint, Zempel told investigator Rob Johnson that a bag of meth was inside of a chest on a wall and then proceeded to use his keys to open it. The chest contained food items, tools and prescription bottles. A large bag of crystal substance that appeared to be meth as well as a large amount of cash was also found. Officers gathered the following controlled substances:
- A bag containing a crystal like substance that weighed 194 grams and field-tested positive for methamphetamine,
- 2 bottles of Buspirone 15 mg non-scheduled
- 1 bottle of hydroxyzine pamoate 25 mg capsules non-scheduled
- Prescription bottle containing 2 orange capsules, 9 blue capsules, 1 orange round tablet, and 4 orange
- Oval tablets all identified as amphetamine dextramphetamine, a schedule II controlled substance.
Zempel stated that there was “a few thousand” dollars and approximately 6.5 ounces of meth at the residence. Zempel said he is both a user and seller and has sold controlled substances for the last few years. Zempel later asked for an attorney and the conversation ended.
The female that was also found at the home told officers that she lived with Zempel for approximately seven months and didn’t know much about his drug dealing.
She also stated that she was aware that he sold drugs to about 5 or 6 different people each week and typically sells between a .5 gram for $50 and up to an 8 ball for $150. She says that Zempel re-ups once a month and gets about 6 ounces each time. The female is a meth user herself and that the meth inside the residence in a jewelry box belonged to her. That package weighed 1.7 grams and field-tested positive for meth.
The total amount of meth collected from the residence and shed was 216 grams (approximately 7.6 ounces) without packaging. The cash value from the residence totaled $20,782.
Zempel made his first appearance in court today and the judge granted the prosecutor’s request for $200,000 bail without conditions or $100,000 bail with conditions. Zempel’s next court appearance is set for January 13.