Suspicious Package Leads to Largest Cash Seizure Ever in Wabasha County

Posted at: 11/15/2013 12:27 PM
Updated at: 11/15/2013 1:10 PM

Daniel Gernes
Daniel Gernes
Photo: Photo: Olmsted County Adult Detention Center

(ABC 6 News) - We’re learning more about a police traffic stop in northwest Rochester, where police ordered the driver out at gun point.

The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department says the stop was part of an ongoing investigation into a suspicious package that was first discovered by the U.S. postal service in Minneapolis.

Police say they found a pound of meth inside that package. But instead of confiscating it, they resealed it and followed it to its destination. The package was eventually delivered to a vacant home in northwest Rochester.

Authorities say they were waiting at the home, when Daniel Gernes pulled up to retrieve the package.

As officers attempted to pull over Gernes, they say he rammed a squad car. Gernes vehicle was eventually cornered near the 5000 block of 10th Street NW.

The following day, detectives searched a Wabasha County residence in Elgin.  In that search warrant, they found close to $60,000 in cash, which is the largest cash seizure ever for Wabasha County.

“This is a significant case not only for our county but for southeast Minnesota," says Sheriff Rodney Bartsh. "These cases are so labor intensive but the results in this one paid off.  Taking a pound of meth of the streets that were likely intended for Wabasha County is huge." 

Bartsh says a later search, of Gernes' campground outside of Wabasha, turned up a stolen assault rifle from Illinois, a small amount of marijuana and more meth. 

Gernes is currently facing charges of 1st degree possession as well as assault charges for ramming the squad car.