Watertown car chase leads to drug bust, 4 arrests

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 10:53 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Authorities say a car chase resulted in four arrests and and a drug bust at a Watertown home.

Police received a report of a vehicle driving recklessly through a residential neighborhood in central Watertown around 2 a.m. Saturday. When officers arrived, police say the vehicle took off. Authorities pursued the vehicle, but it soon crashed a few blocks away.

Police say the driver ran off, but officers detained a passenger, 28-year-old Elizabeth Mesa of St. Paul, Minn. Investigators determined the car was reported stolen in Minnesota. Officers searched the vehicle and found an ounce of methamphetamine, as well as a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Mesa was arrested on drug charges.

After further investigation, detectives identified the driver as 33-year-old Richard Balsimo of St. Paul. Police tracked him down at a residence in northwest Watertown around 8 p.m. Saturday, and arrested him on stolen vehicle, aggravated eluding, and various drug charges.

While searching the home, police say the found approximately half a pound of marijuana and methamphetamine. Police arrested 27-year-old Travis Storbakken of Watertown for possession of less than a half pound of marijuana, drug possession, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Another suspect, 25-year-old Katie Barnes of Watertown, was arrested on lesser drug charges.

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