An Ashland woman remains in jail after being formally charged with three felony drug charges as a repeat offender.
April Marie Blaker was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 8 after Ashland police received a tip the previous day that she and Arthur Dashner of Saxon were traveling in a silver Ford Taurus to Duluth to pick up a load of heroin, according to court records.
The car was spotted near Iron River headed to Ashland. A short time later the car was stopped by Ashland officers who reported that the two “appeared to be nervous and had different stories about where they were coming from.”
According to court documents: Officers searched the car and found several bags and tinfoil “bindles” — small drug packets — with a combined weight of 40.6 grams of suspected fentanyl. The drug was mostly contained in large quantities consisting of 1.2 grams, 11.3 grams and 26.4 grams but that here were also several smaller tinfoil bindles located.
Officers also found a large amount of unused tinfoil, which Ashland Police Investigator Brandon Marten said was commonly used in repackaging large quantities of fentanyl into smaller packages for sale.
Marten said nearly 1.5 ounces of fentanyl represents an amount significantly larger than drugs intended for personal use and was consistent with the amount someone would sell for profit.
Police also located in the two metallic straws with residue, a small plastic baggie containing a white crystalline substance, a digital scale covered with white powder residue and numerous pieces of burnt tinfoil and several hypodermic syringes.
Upon testing, the powder recovered by police showed positive results for fentanyl, while the crystalline substance found in the small baggie was determined to be methamphetamine.
Following her arrest, two additional bags of what appeared to be fentanyl and a syringe were discovered in Blaker’s bra.
As of Monday, no charges related to the Blaker arrest had been filed against Dashner. A warrant for his arrest had been filed after he failed to show up in August for a hearing on a previous charge of resisting or obstructing an officer, but efforts to contact the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department to see if he was being held in jail were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile on Monday, Blaker remained in jail on a $750 cash bond and a $5,000 signature bond. She faces felony charges of possession of narcotics with intent to deliver, possession of amphetamine with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to Ashland police, the total amount of fentanyl seized from Blaker could have a street value of up to $20,000.
Blaker has an extensive local criminal history involving felony drug, battery, false imprisonment and other charges. Blaker also was a key witness in the homicide trial of Michael Sweet and Brian Nelis, who were convicted of beating and stabbing to death Shane Cadotte of Odanah.
Blaker is scheduled for an adjourned initial appearance on Sept. 27 in Ashland County Circuit Court. She faces maximum penalties of 33 years in prison with additional time as a repeat felony offender.