June 26, 2017
A veteran Sibley County sheriff's deputy is charged with a felony count of drug possession and two counts of trespassing.
Jason David Ruehling, a 17-year veteran of the sheriff's office, is charged with possession of controlled substances, a felony, and two counts of misdemeanor trespassing. He was arrested June 8. June 12, he was released from custody under conditions that include no possession or use of controlled substances and random testing. He is due back in Sibley County District Court July 21 for an omnibus hearing.
Ruehling, 44, was arrested Thursday (June 8) when he was seen in the sheriff's office despite being ordered to stay away from the office after being placed on paid administrative leave. The criminal complaint says a fellow deputy saw Ruehling in the office and followed him outside the building. The deputy followed Ruehling as he walked away from the office on the opposite side of the block.
"I saw some items in Ruehling's hands but was unable to tell what they were. It seemed to me Ruehling was trying to evade the camera system at the sheriff's office," said Deputy Rodney Drexler, in the criminal complaint against Reuhling.
Drexler was directed to follow Ruehling. The criminal complaint says Drexler had to maintain a high rate of speed to keep up with Ruehling. "I noted for Ruehling to be this far ahead of me he would have had to be traveling at a higher rate of speed. I believed Ruehling was trying to evade me," Drexler wrote in the complaint. He had to drive at 70 mph to catch up to Ruehling.
Drexler was eventually directed to perform a traffic stop. Ruehling said he was going to the Gaylord Game Protective League (GPL). After placing Ruehling under arrest, a small plastic bag of what Drexler believes is prescription medication was found in Ruehling's pocket, the complaint states.
The pills were labeled as Clonazepam 1 mg. A search of the pickup truck Ruehling was driving produced an orange bag that was inside a plastic container. Inside the orange bag, there was a prescription bottle. It contained medication labeled Alprazolam 0.25 mg tablet and Lorazepam 0.5 mg tablet. "Inside the prescription bottle there was four white round prescription medications (pills) and seven white oval prescription medications (pills)," Drexel wrote in the criminal complaint.
The evidence from the truck was placed into evidence. Deputies are checking to determine if the medication Ruehling allegedly took from the office came from the evidence room, from the prescription medication drop-off box at the sheriff's office or from some other source.
"We're looking at all sources," said Sheriff Bruce Ponath. "All we know is that the pill bottle for the medications didn't have his name on them."
Ruehling's attorney, Anthony Nerud, could not be reached for comment on the charges against his client.