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November 09, 2012 04:52 PM

Police: ‘Huge Amount’ Of Pills Found

Sioux Falls, SD

Three men are behind bars for a list of various drug related charges and police are calling what they found inside a Sioux Falls home a 'huge' amount of pills.

The Sioux Falls Area Drug Task force served a search warrant at 816 North French Avenue Thursday evening; that's within the drug free zone for Joe Foss School.

An evidence bag is now stuffed with 1,943 pseudoephedrine pills. The pills are just part of what police say they found inside the home on North French Avenue.

But with a state law limiting how much pseudoephedrine one person can buy, investigators say the number of pills stands out.

"Most of these drug busts that we have, we have various amounts of drugs, some quantities are large, some quantities are small, but I can't recall seeing this many pseudoephedrine pills at one bust before," officer Sam Clemens said.

Police arrested three men, including the homeowner, 63-year-old Lester Estenson. Thirty-seven-year-old Andrew Weaver and 43-year-old Michael Voyles were staying at the home and are also charged.

While the pills are a key ingredient to make meth, police did not find a lab.  However, they did find meth, marijuana, and cocaine. The cocaine amount was less than one gram, but police say they're seeing more of that drug.

"Regionally, cocaine has had somewhat of a resurgence just because of the pseudoephedrine laws that went into effect, it was harder to manufacture meth.  Because of that we started to see somewhat of a rise in cocaine use," Clemens said.

The neighborhood of the drug bust is now quiet and neighbors we spoke to off camera didn't want to say much about activity at the home in question.  Police say more arrests are possible as they look into how so many hard-to-get pills were collected. 

"Obviously there are ways around that system and to compile this many pills is pretty substantial," Clemens said.

Estenson, the homeowner, faces more charges than the others who were arrested.  One charge is violating a drug-free zone because of his home's location within 1,000 feet of a school.

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