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Suspect charged in drug case

At 6:45 p.m. Thursday, June 16, the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of gunfire and screaming coming from a residence on Canopy Lane S.W. in Bemidji Township, approximately three miles south of Bemidji.

According to the criminal complaint, officers had been dispatched to the Canopy Lane Southwest address a week earlier answering a complaint that Jason Earl Patch, 32, of Bemidji, had tried to break down the door with an ax as part of a domestic dispute.

Deputies who arrived on the scene Thursday located a marijuana growing operation outside the residence and evidence of several gunshots having been fired from inside the residence. A search warrant was issued for the residence and the Headwaters SWAT team was called to enter and secure the residence.

On Monday, June 20, Patch, was charged in Beltrami County District Court with felony convicted of a crime of violence (firearm violation), felony fifth-degree possession of controlled substance (marijuana) and felony fifth-degree possession of methamphetamine.

Deputies surrounded the residence and unsuccessfully attempted to make contact with occupants. Deputies did not receive any response from within the residence during the time they remained at the scene securing the perimeter.

When the SWAT team arrived, they began hailing the residence again with loudspeakers and, after threatening to deploy tear gas, Patch voluntarily surrendered to law enforcement ending the incident peacefully. According to the criminal complaint, officers recovered a pistol, ammunition, drugs and drug manufacture and distribution paraphernalia. They also found a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol loaded in both the magazine and chamber and several other pistols.

Patch is a convicted felon with convictions for burglary and check forgery in 2001 and felony racketeering and burglary in 2003.

Patch's next court appearance is scheduled for June 27. Meanwhile, he remains in custody in the Beltrami County Jail.

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office was assisted by members of the Bemidji Police Department, Clearwater County Sheriff's Office, Blackduck Police, Leech Lake Tribal Police, Minnesota State Patrol and U.S. Border Patrol.