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Officer smells opium, hunter arrested

November 8, 2011

By Amy Pearson, WinonaDailyNews.com

A Minnesota City, Minn., man was arrested while deer hunting after authorities said they found heroin in his backpack.

Ye Vang, 44, appeared Monday morning in Winona County District Court on a count of third-degree possession of heroin.

The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

According to court documents, Vang had been hunting Sunday with two other people when a conservation officer stopped to talk to them about a hunting violation.

During the conversation, the officer smelled opium and asked to search Vang’s backpack, court documents show. Vang consented, and the officer subsequently found drug paraphernalia and what appeared to be black tar heroin, court documents state.

With Vang’s son acting as an interpreter, Vang told the officer the substance was opium and that he used it to feel better, court documents show.

The officer then called the Winona County Sheriff’s Department.

Once a deputy arrived, the conservation officer handed over a cardboard box with a plastic bag inside containing two prescription pill bottles, court documents state. The bottles contained 4.5 grams of heroin, which tested positive for opium, court documents show.

Vang was arrested and transported to the Winona County Jail.

His next court appearance is set for Nov. 17 before Judge Mary Leahy.

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