WOODBURY - A Chicago man was arrested Oct. 30 in a Woodbury hotel for possessing more than 28.2 grams of meth.
James Martin Pickett, 50, is charged with second-degree possession of a controlled substance, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and $500,000.
According to the criminal complaint:
Members of the Washington County Human Trafficking Task Force were conducting an investigation at the Extended Stay America hotel, 10020 Hudson Road, Woodbury. The officers' investigation focused on Room 307, which they believed was being used for prostitution.
While the room was under surveillance, officers observed a man enter and leave the room several times and remain in the room for more than three hours. They also saw him bring a vacuum from the lobby to the hotel room. The officers believed these actions were inconsistent with someone who had come to the hotel simply to buy sex.
After speaking with the hotel's front desk staff, officers learned the vacuum had been given to a man staying in Room 230 and identifying himself as "Reggie Brooks." Officers executed a previously-obtained search warrant for Room 307 and found the man, identified as Pickett and a woman. The woman told officers she was dating Pickett and that he provided security for her while she sells sex. At first, Pickett allegedly told officers he had no affiliation with Room 230, though officers found a Minnesota ID card for Reginald Brooks in Pickett's possession, as well as a room card sleeve labeled for Room 230 containing three hotel room keys. Pickett then allegedly admitted he had rented Room 230 but that "some guy" had paid him $50 to rent the room for him. He claimed he had never been inside Room 230 and had no property inside the room.
Pickett was also found with a glass bubble pipe hidden in his sock. The officers determined he was the subject of active felony warrants issued by the state of Iowa. Pickett told officers they could look through his text messages to prove he was unaware the woman was a sex worker. Officers allegedly looked at some of his text messages and saw messages between Pickett and the woman that showed both that he was staying in Room 230 and that he was aware of the woman's involvement in commercial sex.
The officers obtained a search warrant for Room 230 and located male clothing and a black bag. Inside the black bag were toiletry items and a hat, as well as a cellophane bag containing 28.2 grams of meth. The only female property officers found in Room 230 was a pair of women's sandals.