Minnesota City drug bust nets five, after suspects show up to house being raided

A Boxing Day search warrant sent five people to jail for possession of synthetic drugs and other charges.

Members of the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force, along with the Winona County Emergency Response Team, employed a flash-bang device on entering the Anthony Alfonso Simonic residence in Minnesota City Dec. 26, according to court documents.

Law enforcement officers found Simonic, 45, on the living room sofa and Taylor Elizabeth Paetzel, 22, in an upstairs bedroom, according to court documents. Pipes, scorched aluminum foil, and other items associated with drug use were found throughout the house, many coated with a white powder identified as Alpha-PVP, an illegal synthetic drug often referred to as bath salts on the street. The odor of Alpha-PVP also hung in the air.

Investigators found the house cluttered and in general disarray, according to court documents. The kitchen was cluttered with dirty dishes and decaying food, with no clean spot to eat or prepare a meal. The refrigerator reeked of rotten food and contained nothing edible, and there was “a strange, strong, rotten odor coming from somewhere near the couch in the living room.”

The report states that three warrants had been served at the address in the past, the latest coming in October 2013, and that living conditions in the house had steadily deteriorated since.

While investigators searched, a vehicle pulled up and a man got out and approached the residence. When the man, identified as Dylan Thomas Bundy, 19, spotted an officer, he backed away, tossing items from his pocket into the snow, according to court documents. The items, a pipe and container containing Alpha-PVP, were recovered and Bundy was taken into custody.

Bundy was convicted of robbery in 2011 for his role in robbing a pizza delivery driver in east Winona. He was convicted again for robbery in 2012 after admitting to robbing Walmart by pushing aside a cashier and taking cash from the register; he served 20 months in prison for that crime.

Behind the wheel of the vehicle, officers found Samantha Leann Ewing, 34, visibly nervous and agitated, speaking rapidly in short, choppy sentences and moving constantly. An open purse with a pin inside was plainly visible between the seats, and also found to contain a contact lens case that tested positive for Alpha-PVP, according to court documents.

At this time, investigators observed a vehicle slowly pass the residence, driven by Jonathan Thomas Walters, 26. A sheriff’s deputy followed Walters’ vehicle and executed a traffic stop for a burned out license plate light. Walters showed signs of impairment and failed a field sobriety test, according to court documents. Taken to the Law Enforcement Center, he refused blood and urine tests. A dollar bill rolled into a bindle containing Alpha-PVP was found in his wallet, as well as several foil bindles containing more of the drug.

Felony charges of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance were filed against each of the five individuals Monday in Winona County District Court.

In addition, Simonic faces a gross misdemeanor charge of maintaining a disorderly house, and Walters is charged with first-degree driving while impaired.