ADVERTISEMENT

Schnagl faces trial on drug charge; search continues

  • Article by: JIM ANDERSON
  • Star Tribune
  • January 15, 2013 - 11:28 PM

Aaron Schnagl, the last person known to have seen Danielle Jelinek -- the 27-year-old woman from Oakdale who has been missing since Dec. 9 -- will face a jury trial on March 4 after pleading not guilty Monday to drug charges stemming from a search of his home by investigators.

Schnagl, 28, was originally charged in Chisago County District Court with two fifth-degree drug counts, one for marijuana possession and another for sale of marijuana, the least-serious level of felony drug charge. However, the original criminal complaint has been amended to add a first-degree drug possession charge, the most-serious level.

Chisago County sheriff's deputies initially removed 12 pounds of marijuana in individual bags contained in two boxes from a BMW in Schnagl's garage, according to the complaint. A number of unidentified pills also were removed.

Further investigation after searches of the residence in the 11200 block of 261st Street in Chisago County Township also turned up 29.2 grams of cocaine, said Jennifer Santoro Bovitz, assistant Chisago County attorney.

A subsequent test also revealed that Schnagl had cocaine in his system, court documents say.

Schnagl is being held in the Anoka County Jail, where he awaits a hearing for an alleged parole violation triggered by the Chisago County drug case. Among the conditions of that parole were that he remain law-abiding and not use mood-altering chemicals.

Schnagl was sentenced to 86 months in prison in 2007 after a raid on his apartment in Coon Rapids turned up a cache of cocaine, marijuana and thousands of dollars in cash. As part of an agreement, he pleaded guilty to first-degree drug possession, the prison sentence was stayed, and he was placed on probation for 30 years.

In 2009, he was found to have violated his probation after being convicted for careless driving, and more stringent conditions were added. In that case, charges of fourth-degree drunken driving and lying to a police officer had been dismissed.

Investigators have termed Schnagl a "person of interest" in the Jelinek case, though he has insisted he had nothing to do with her disappearance from his home.

Jelinek, who grew up in Cottage Grove and lived with her sister, was last heard from by her family on the afternoon of Dec. 8. Deputies were dispatched to Schnagl's home in the small rural subdivision the next day to check on her welfare, which led to an intensive search by law enforcement officers and volunteers.

In the latest effort to find her, a $1,000 reward in being offered by CrimeStoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for Jelinek's disappearance. Anyone with information is asked to call 651-257-4100.

Jim Anderson • 651-925-5039 Twitter: @StribJAnderson

© 2014 Star Tribune