Solway man sentenced to 12 years in prison for methamphetamine trafficking

Dec. 5—ST. PAUL — A Solway man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his role in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy that dates back to 2019.

According to court documents, in September 2019 law enforcement began investigating a drug trafficking organization that was distributing significant quantities of methamphetamine in northern Minnesota.

As part of the investigation, police conducted a traffic stop in Park Rapids of a tow truck driven by 52-year-old Trent Michael Holden of Solway on Feb. 16, 2020.

A search of the vehicle revealed one pound of methamphetamine, a firearm and $34,852. Holden was arrested but was later released from custody.

On March 27, 2020, officers observed Holden returning to Bemidji from the Twin Cities where he was suspected of meeting with his drug supply source.

Officers stopped Holden, who appeared to be intoxicated, and recovered from his vehicle five pounds of methamphetamine, 21 MDMA pills, a firearm, a box of ammunition and $4,096 in cash. Holden was charged in state court and later released from custody.

On Sept. 28, 2021, officers observed Holden driving a tow truck that was hauling a Dodge Neon. A subsequent search of both vehicles revealed approximately 2.8 pounds of methamphetamine and $4,010 in cash.

On May 11, 2022, Holden pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced on Thursday, Dec. 1, in U.S. District Court.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, Hubbard County Sheriff's Office, Beltrami County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.