Grand jury hands down federal charges in Rice Lake case

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/27/00.

A St. Cloud man accused of building a methamphetamine lab on Rice Lake has been charged by a federal grand jury.

Michael Strate, 43, appeared in federal court on Tuesday, Dec. 19. The grand jury charged him with manufacturing methamphetamine and endangering human life while manufacturing methamphetamine.

According to court documents, Strate's method of venting the fumes from his St. Cloud apartment risked exposing other people in his building. Because of the chemicals involved, meth labs are treated as hazardous sites.

The meth lab was discovered in Strate's apartment in early December. A later search of his father's cabin on Rice Lake revealed a fully operational meth lab, two other boxed meth labs, chemicals used for making metham-phetamines, explosive devices, and unset booby traps.

If convicted on the federal charges, Strate could serve a minimum of 10 years in prison on the meth charges and up to 10 years in prison for endangering human life.

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