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Authorities say meth found in van that father appeared to be living in with children

Dustin Aaron Kiesow, 35, is facing charges of drug possession and child neglect after a sheriff's deputy allegedly found methamphetamine in a van that he appeared to be living. The sheriff's deputy said Kiesow was asleep in the van parked at a residence north of North Hudson while his children were playing nearby. (St. Croix County mug shot)

A father of three has been bound over for trial after methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were allegedly found in the van where he was sleeping as his three young children played nearby.

Dustin Aaron Kiesow, 35, who has no permanent address, faces one felony count of possession of methamphetamine, misdemeanor counts of manufacturing and possession of drug paraphernalia, and three counts of child neglect.

According to testimony from the sheriff’s deputy who arrested Kiesow, he was called to a residence at 1326 Hwy. 35, a short distance north of North Hudson, at around 9:30 a.m. on July 4 in response to an anonymous caller concerned about the welfare of three children who appeared to be living out of a van on the property.

The deputy found Kiesow asleep in the driver’s seat and three young children, ages 4-5, playing with a hose in a small pool nearby. The homeowners were not home and the house was locked.

Upon receiving permission from Kiesow to search the van, the deputy found a container that had a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine along with a digital scale that had traces of the drug on it, glass pipes use to smoke the drug as well as supplies used for the sale and manufacture of smoking pipes.

Kiesow said his children, 4-year-old twin boys and his 5-year-old daughter, had stayed with him in the van overnight and that he spends most evenings living with friends.

According to the complaint, the van appeared that it was “regularly lived in” and contained multiple blankets. The deputy saw a small cooler with some drinks in it but no food.

Kiesow told the deputy that he took the children to a gas station if they needed to use a bathroom.

Upon his arrest, Kiesow told the deputy to contact his mother to come pick up the children.

Kiesow was represented in court by public defender John Kucinski.

In requesting bail, Kucinski stated that his client had no prior drug convictions and has custody of his children, and therefore has a stake in remaining in the area.

Kiesow has previously been charged with child endangerment in Washington County, Minnesota, according to the prosecutor.

An online directory lists Stillwater, Lake Elmo, Houlton and Somerset as places Kiesow has lived.

Judge Howard Cameron released Kiesow on a $5,000 signature bond with the condition that he maintain absolute sobriety, not use any drugs and refrain from making any drug paraphernalia.

His arraignment was set for July 22.

The children are currently in the custody of their mother.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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