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A man from Inver Grove Heights and one from South St. Paul are facing felony charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

According to criminal complaints filed in Dakota County District Court in Hastings, Beau Bradley Nicholson, 28, of Inver Grove Heights, and Richard Dean Schlussler, 47, of South St. Paul worked together to sell more than 10 grams of methamphetamine to a confidential informant for the Dakota County Drug Task Force on two occasions last September.

Each man is charged with one count of first-degree conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, which carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Schlussler – who is facing a host of pending charges, including an unrelated drug charge from April, a charge of first-degree methamphetamine manufacturing in Clark County, Wis., and a charge of domestic assault by strangulation – was also charged with fifth-degree drug possession after agents searched his home later in September and found methamphetamine, a digital scale and other drug paraphernalia.

Schlussler has been in the Dakota County Jail in Hastings since April 1 on a $45,000 bond.

According to the criminal complaints, the confidential informant contacted a Dakota County Drug Task Force agent last Sept. 16 and said he had located someone named Beau who was willing to sell a quarter-ounce of methamphetamine.

The informant called Nicholson, who arranged the sale with the help of Schlussler, according to the complaints. Nicholson and Schlussler accomplished the sale of 6.77 grams of methamphetamine to the informant through a circuitous route from South St. Paul to Minneapolis and back to Schlussler’s home in South St. Paul, according to the complaints.

A week later, the informant made another arrangement to buy methamphetamine from Schlussler and Nicholson, the complaints say. Once again, the informant was taken on a circuitous route from South St. Paul to West St. Paul and then back to Schlussler’s home, where agents had set up surveillance, the complaints say. The informant bought 5.27 grams of methamphetamine from the two men on Sept. 23.

On both occasions, Nicholson and Schlussler searched the informant for drugs and large amounts of money before the sales were completed, according to the complaints.

Both men have lengthy criminal backgrounds. Nicholson’s record includes a 2003 conviction in Le Sueur County for manufacturing methamphetamine, and Schlussler was convicted of marijuana possession in 2008 and 2009 in Dakota County.

Schlussler was most recently charged in April with felony drug possession after an Inver Grove Heights police officer stopped him and found Vicodin and the muscle relaxant methocarbamol in his car. According to the criminal complaint, Schlussler told the officer that he didn’t have prescriptions for the two drugs, but that he needed them for pain.

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