Petters Co. Lawyer Faces 3 Felony Drug Charges
David E. Baer, the former chief legal officer at Petters Group Worldwide, faces three felony drug possession charges after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamines, and prescription pills in his office during the September 2008 raid of the headquarters of Petters Group Worldwide in Minnetonka.
The three felony charges carry up to 45 years in prison and up to $610,000 in fines.
According a complaint filed last month in Hennepin County District Court, agents from the FBI searched Baer's office while executing a search warrant at the Minnetonka headquarters of Petters Group Worldwide.
Upon search of a safe under Baer's desk, the FBI found cocaine that was divided between several containers, including a prescription bottle with his name on it. The FBI reported that it recovered a totaled of 7.4 grams of cocaine during the search.
In addition, the complaint said agents found several pills with a variety of imprints that were believed to be ecstasy. Ten pills that had a bird imprint on them tested positive for ecstasy, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and 30 additional pills tested positive for methamphetamine and caffeine-a combination known as yaba.
The complaint also said that other prescription pills and Baer's passport were found in the safe.
It is unclear why there was a two-year delay between the raid and the charges being filed. A Thursday morning phone call to Assistant County Attorney Michael Radmer seeking information about the delay was not immediately returned.
Douglas Peterson, Baer's lawyer, declined to comment on the case Thursday afternoon, but e-mailed the following statement:
“Mr. Baer takes these allegations seriously and will work with the authorities to respond to the allegations in an expeditious and appropriate manner. As we are still in the early phases of this case, it's not appropriate for us to offer any further comment.”
Tom Petters, chairman and CEO of Petters Group Worldwide, was found guilty in December of 20 felony counts relating to fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering, for orchestrating a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme that spanned a decade.
Petters, who maintains his innocence, was sentenced to 50 years in prison in April. His attorney filed a formal notice of appeal later that month. Earlier this month, federal prosecutors filed documents asking the court to deny Petters' appeal.