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Duluth man arrested for allegedly manufacturing psychedelic drug

A Duluth man is behind bars after the St. Louis County Sheriff’s office and the BCA say he was allegedly manufacturing a substance known as Dimethyltryptamine or “DMT,” a psychedelic drug similar to LSD.

Donald Alan Rankin, 23, is charged with 1st Degree Sale and Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance in relation to the crime. His bail is set at $75,000. 

DMT is a schedule one controlled substance, and this is only the third known instance of the drug in Minnesota in the last 10 years.

Suspected DMT along with associated ingredients were found while authorities executed a search warrant at a Rice Lake home on February 21. Several mason jars of brownish liquid with a clear top layer were collected as evidence.

The BCA Crime Lab was able to test samples of the substance and confirmed it is DMT.

Authorities say DMT can be chemically synthesized. However, there are certain Amazonian plants that contain chemical compositions used to facilitate the process. Clandestine labs making DMT pose a flammability risk due to the solvents that are used in the process.

Authorities say law enforcement agencies on the West Coast have been dealing with this drug for several years.

St. Louis County Sheriff’s Investigators consulted with drug task force officers from the Los Angeles Police Department for best practices in handling such investigations.

On January 1, police say Rankin was allegedly involved in an incident on the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus.

Police responded to a report of a person with a gun on campus and took Rankin into custody, at gun-point.

In court this week, Rankin pleaded not guilty to trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia charges in relation to that incident.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for April on the trespassing and drug charges.

Briggs LeSavage

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