Rochester Area Felon Facing New Felony Drug, Gun Charges
The charges filed in Olmsted County Court Monday stem from a traffic stop that occurred on St. Patrick’s Day in downtown Rochester. A Rochester police officer stopped a vehicle in the area of 3rd St. and 1st Ave. Southwest shortly after 10:30 p.m. Friday after learning the vehicle’s registered owner had a revoked license and observing the driver matched the description of the vehicle's owner.
Upon making contact, the officer learned the vehicle was not being operated by its registered owner but instead driven by 32-year-old Joshua Kuehl of West Concord, MN. The charges say the officer detected the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, which prompted a probable cause search.
The search uncovered a 9mm Taurus handgun with a bullet in the chamber and a shoe box with suspected THC wax and other drug paraphernalia, the criminal complaint says. Kuehl also had $4,114 of cash found in his pockets as he was being arrested.
Officers at the scene said the serial number of the firearm appeared to have been scratched off. Court documents say Kuehl denied the firearm was his, pointing out he was driving someone else's vehicle, but then admitted to owning the firearm after officers asked if he would consent to a DNA swab test.
Kuehl said he bought the firearm two weeks prior to the traffic stop in Waterloo, IA because people were threatening him, the complaint said. Kuehl was arranged in Olmsted County Court Monday on felony charges of felon in possession of a firearm, altering a firearm serial number and drug possession.
He’s also facing gross misdemeanor charges for felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm while under the influence of a controlled substance. Court records show Kuehl has been convicted of felony drug possession in Dodge, Olmsted, Wabasha and Washington Counties and has been convicted of felony DWI in Winona County.
Kuehl was released without bail but with conditions. His next court appearance is set for April 13.