Underage drinking alledged at county attorney’s home

Authorities are investigating reports of a underage drinking party near the home of Mille Lacs County Attorney Jan Jude.

A Mille Lacs County deputy broke up a teen drinking party on Memorial Day after responding to the Foreston-area home Jude and her husband Russ, an investigator with the Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department.

Authorities went to the Jude home after an unresponsive and intoxicated teen was taken by ambulance to Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton, according to Mille Lacs county Sheriff Brent Lindgren.

The Anoka County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the alleged situation because of a potential conflict of interest between the county prosecutor and the agencies with whom she works with in prosecuting cases.

Depuities were called to a medical emergency at 13252 Central Avenue, Milaca at about 1:20 a.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. Officers with the Sheriff’s Department and the Milaca Police Department found a 17-year-old male who was unresponsive but breathing and intoxicated, according to Lindgren.

In an attempt to gather information for the investigation into the incident with the intoxicated male, a deputy went to 15203 140th Street, Foreston — a home property records identify as that of Russ and Jan Jude. The Judes are parents to child who graduated from Milaca High School a few days before the alleged party.

A number of vehicles were parked at the residence when the deputy responded. The deputy identified the owners of the vehicles by license plate before unsuccessfully trying to make phone contact with the Judes to inform them why the deputy was on their property, Lindgren stated. When the deputy arrived on the property a number of teens fled on foot into an adjoining woods, he stated.

While the deputy wasn’t able to identify the teens who fled, he was able to use the information gained from the earlier license plate checks to set up interviews with people who were potentially at the party. A concerned parent has also given information to the Milaca Police Department, Lindgren stated. Another underage individual was later identified and interviewed. That teen confirmed underage consumption of alcohol on the property that same evening.

Both the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department and the Milaca Police Department interviewed the 17-year-old who had been taken by ambulance to the hospital after his release from Fairview Northland Medical Center. The teen told investing officers that he had been drinking alcoholic beverages the night of May 26 at a bon-fire party located near the Judes’ residence. He said he was drinking prior to arriving at the party, as well.

Upon learning of the situation and realizing a conflict of interest exits between Mille Lacs County and Milaca law enforcement agencies and the Judes, Lindgren contacted James Franklin, the executive director of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association and requested conflict investigation assistance through the Sheriff’s Association.

Franklin contacted the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department, which accepted the conflict investigation, and will be conducting the investigation for Mille Lacs County, Lindgren stated. The case is currently assigned to the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division as to avoid there being any appearance of a conflict of interest.