Motel business sold; details, plans pending

A  somewhat routine traffic stop Oct. 8 in downtown Pelican Rapids ended up with a string of offenses,  including two felonies.  

Felony possession of the opioid  fentanyl; and testosterone; as well as misdemeanor charges for possession of firearms and hypodermic needles face a Pelican Rapids businessman.  

Wade John Noack, 62, Pelican Rapids, was arrested by Pelican Police Department officers, and a court appearance is Oct. 28 in Otter Tail County district court. Five separate counts relating to the Oct. 8 incident were listed on the court documents.  

 Suspect Noack is also scheduled for two other upcoming court dates, stemming from two separate incidents, in 2017 and 2018.  

Noack bought Pelican Motel in 2016.  

The motel business has been sold. The closing transaction on the motel was last week, but details on the new ownership and plans for the future of the motel are still pending. 

The Pelican Motel is the only conventional overnight lodging operation in the city, so the plans for the motel are of considerable interest in the Pelican area business community. The motel opened in 1961.  

Noack was charged with two gross misdemeanors and one petty misdemeanor offense following a traffic stop in October 2018.  The three counts involve possession of drug paraphernalia, which included methamphetamine traces.  A hearing on these charges was Oct. 14, 2019.  

Oct. 8 stop nets DWI, felony drug possession charges 

The most recent charges follow a traffic stop, when the vehicle Noack was driving failed to signal on two consecutive turns. 

Officers observed that Noack “had a very rigid, agitated demeanor and was displaying facial tremors.” Field sobriety tests  indicated that the motorist was impaired. 

A subsequent search turned up two bottles of prescription testosterone; burnt residue consistent with heroin; .8 grams of fentanyl; as well as three firearms.  In later interviews conducted with law enforcement at the Otter Tail County law enforcement center, Noack admitted to using heroin and methamphetamine on or about Oct. 5 and 6, 2019.

“Guns for drugs” charges date to November 2017

In November 2017, Noack was charged with two felonies, in connection with an alleged guns in exchange for drugs transaction.  Each count carries up to 20 years, and up to $100,000 in fines–or both.  A jury trial is scheduled in December regarding those felony citations. 

Jury trial on weapons-drugs transaction set for December

Noack was charged in Otter Tail County District Court with two counts of felony receiving stolen property and a gross misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree drug possession in 2018, stemming from that November 2017 arrest.

 Noack, the owner and operator of the Pelican Motel, was accused of trading heroin and morphine for two guns taken during a motor vehicle theft.

According to a court complaint, a drug overdose in Audubon was reported on November 16, 2017. A vehicle recovered at the scene was reportedly stolen, and two rifles in the trunk were missing.

Allegedly, the person who stole the vehicle traded the rifles found in the trunk to Noack for drugs. The recipient of the drugs, Shawn Mosca, later overdosed on the heroin–which sparked the further investigation and eventual charges against Noack. 

A search of the Pelican Motel turned up the stolen rifles, along with drug paraphernalia that included metal spoons, hypodermic needles, and glass smoking devices.  The paraphernalia contained residue that tested positive as methamphetamine.  At the time, Noack admitted that he received two firearms from the suspects, but denied trading heroin for the guns.  

Traffic stop a year ago resulted in additional charges 

The incident a year ago, Oct. 25, 2018, occurred when an Otter Tail Deputy pulled Noack over for driving over the speed limit on Highway 59. 

The traffic stop turned up open bottles, including beer.  The Deputy then searched the vehicle and discovered a pipe, which field tested for methamphetamine.  He was charged with two gross misdemeanors; both 5th degree possession of a controlled substance. Outcome of the Oct. 14, 2019 court appearance was not yet available.