Sheriff news: Theft reported at Pickerel Lake fish house

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Several ice fishing items valued between $325 and $350 were stolen from a fish house at Pickerel Lake, south of the town of Ottertail. The call came into the Otter Tail County Sheriff Office on Feb. 23.

Taken were propane tanks, heaters and multiple fishing items. An investigation was continuing on Monday, Feb. 24, according to County Sheriff Administrative Lt. Keith Van Dyke.

Vergas resident victim of Social Security scam

A resident of rural Vergas became the victim of a scam on Feb. 21.

County sheriff deputies said the victim gave Social Security numbers and date of birth to a scammer, for a reason not disclosed.

The scam victim was advised by the sheriff office to contact the nearest Social Security office about seeing how best to proceed in taking care of this matter.


DL pastor says she is being impersonated

A pastor in Detroit Lakes told Otter Tail County sheriff deputies that someone is using a fake email similar to her real one, along with a picture of her, in order to illegally obtain money.

Some residents in Otter Tail County have reportedly been contacted.

The church’s IT department has contacted Google for additional assistance.

2 arrested on drug charges near New York Mills

Two people were arrested on drug possession and other charges Thursday, Feb. 20, near New York Mills.

Otter Tail County sheriff deputies, in coordination with the West Central Minnesota Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, made the arrests southwest of town, near 360th Avenue.

David Morlock, 67, of rural New York Mills, was arrested on charges of third degree sales of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) fifth degree possession of meth, as a felon in possession of a firearm and as a person prohibited from possessing a firearm as a known drug user.

Agents located meth, paraphernalia, close to $2,000 in cash and a handgun at the residence, according to deputies.

Also arrested was Gabriel Poitra, 46, of Bagley, on a fifth degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) charge. There also was a felony warrant for Poitra’s arrest from Clearwater County. A third party at the residence near New York Mills was released.


An investigation was continuing as of Friday morning, Feb. 21.

The drug and violent crimes task force includes detectives from the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office and sheriff deputies from the counties of Wadena, Douglas and Becker. In addition, task force members also include detectives from police departments in Detroit Lakes and Alexandria.

Dent man injured in airborne car wreck

A Dent man was injured in a one-vehicle traffic accident Feb. 19 near Vining.

Kermit Leroy Hauge, 62, was in a F-150 traveling north on Highway 40, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff Office. Hauge later crossed the road at the intersection of Highways 210 and 40, veered off the road and went airborne. The vehicle came to rest in the north ditch of Highway 210.

Hauge was treated for a non-life-threatening injury. The accident took place close to 8 p.m.

The Detroit Lakes Tribune reported that Hauge was not wearing a safety belt and alcohol was involved, according to the State Patrol.

Parkers Prairie man dies following traffic accident

Sheriff deputies, in conjunction with the state highway patrol, said a Parkers Prairie man died of injuries following a Feb. 19 traffic accident near Underwood.

The victim was 30-year-old Jacob Paul Gappa. Authorities said the accident involved two vehicles at 4:51 p.m. near the intersection of Highway 210 and German Lake Road.


Gappa was traveling east on Highway 210 in a Ford pickup when he collided with a westbound Freightliner semi driven by 45-year-old Michael John Mallak of Melrose.

Mallak was treated for a non-life-threatening injury.

Responding to the scene of the accident, in addition to sheriff deputies and the state highway patrol, were members of the Underwood fire and rescue squads as well as Ringdahl Ambulance.

ATV ramps stolen

The theft of ATV ramps was reported Feb. 15 from a pickup box at the public access near the town of Ottertail, at Donalds Lake.

Loss of the ramps totals $150. There were no suspects as of Feb. 18.

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